1996, Issue 39
Article Abstracts and Supplements
When Good Men Do Nothing: The Murder of Albert Patterson
By Alan Grady
night of June 18, 1954, Alabama Senator Albert Patterson left his
law office in Phenix City and headed home. Patterson, then the Democratic
nominee for state attorney general, never reached his destination.
As he approached his car, parked in a downtown alley, he was shot.
Stumbling from the alley, Patterson collapsed in front of a dress
shop and died. His son, convinced that the murder was due to his
father's involvement in running the gangsters out of Phenix City
and Russell County, embarked on a crusade to solve the mystery of
his father's death. The trials that followed did little to convict
a killer, although the publicity surrounding the case helped in a
general clean-up of Phenix City.
Read the full text article here in Alabama Heritage: From the Vault.
in Antebellum Alabama
By Edward Pattillo
Though some Alabamians have collected and
treasured "Alabama-made" silver, evidence suggests that no silver
was made in Alabama during the Antebellum period. Instead, many silver
manufacturing firms in the Northeast sent shiploads of silver to
retailers in the Deep South. These retailers would then stamp the
silver with their own name, causing some modern silver collectors
to mistakenly believe the silver was made in Alabama. Edward Pattillo
stresses that Antebellum Alabamians knew the silver they bought in
the state was brought in from somewhere else. The belief that the
silver goods were made in local stores "has been a modern assumption."
Red Erwin and the Medal of Honor
By Judd A. Katz
On April 12,
1945, Henry "Red" Erwin, a radioman with the U.S. Army Corps,
was en route to Koriyama, Japan on a bombing mission when the
phosphorous bomb he had dropped through the plane's open chute
turned, lifted, and exploded in his face. Three hundred feet
above the Pacific, Erwin was instantly engulfed in flames. In
an act of selflessness that would save the plane's officers and
crew and earn him the Medal of Honor, Erwin grabbed the fifteen-hundred
degree bomb, carried it through thick smoke to the cockpit, and
hurled it from the plane, collapsing soon afterward. Military
brass awarded Erwin the Medal of Honor only two days after he
saved his crew. No one expected him to survive much longer. They
just didn't know Red Erwin.
Northington General Hospital, Tuscaloosa
By Joanna Jacobs
War Two, Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama,
was one link in an effective military medical network that stretched
around the world. With one thousand beds, Northington's specialty
was plastic surgery. Because of the destructive nature of war
wounds, plastic surgery techniques were in great demand. Doctors
at Northington were instrumental in developing new skin-graft
techniques during the 1940s.
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