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Nov 13

Remembering Hugh Frank Radcliffe

Posted on November 13, 2019 at 1:27 PM by Jamesan Stuckey

Remembering Hugh Frank Radcliffe:…/Mr-Hugh-Frank-Radc…

Hugh Radcliffe was born in Fort Valley, GA, November 27th, 1928. As one of the first ten inductees in the Thomaston-Upson Sports Hall of Fame, Radcliffe is well remembered for his recording holding game in which he pitched a staggering 28 strike-outs against the Poets of Macon’s Lanier High School. The day was April 19th, 1948. The monumental nine inning game, held at Silvertown Ballpark, led to a career with both the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees organizations which lasted until 1954.

So how was the “one in a million” feat of pitching 28 strike outs possible in a regular nine inning game? Typically, striking out every batter would have resulted in 27 total strikes, but this one extra was the result of the catcher dropping the ball. The Lanier runner was able to make it to first base before the ball was thrown there, and the pitch was still counted as a strike.
After his baseball career, Radcliffe worked for telephone companies and was also the Recreation Director for Cordele, GA in Crisp County.

The Hugh Frank Radcliffe Clubhouse was dedicated in the Historic Silvertown Ballpark on April 21, 2008.

As shown here, this incredible athlete was voted Most Athletic Boy in his senior year at R.E. Lee Institute, 1948.

(Lateral Files: Genealogy, Hugh Frank Radcliffe. Thomaston-Upson Archives)

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Hugh Frank Radcliffe, R.E. Lee Institute, Rebel Annual. 1948.

Oct 25

Did the Spanish Flu impact Thomaston?

Posted on October 25, 2019 at 4:48 PM by Jamesan Stuckey

It’s scary to imagine, but around 100 years ago, the world experienced one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. The Spanish Flu, also known as the 1918 H1N1 flu, killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, with 670,000 of those deaths being American. The amount exceeded the military deaths from WWI and WWII combined.

So, did the flu ever impact Thomaston? Well, it’s difficult to say. The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Resources states that most victims of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic died of bacterial pneumonia rather than the flu itself.…/bacterial-pneumonia-caused-most-death…

News of the Spanish Flu was widely downplayed as a result of President Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act. According to the Smithsonian, Wilson urged Congress to pass this act which would make it punishable by up to 20 years in prison to “utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States...or to urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production in this country of anything or things...necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war.” This meant that public health officials would conceal outbreaks of the flu, or state that service men passed away from old-fashioned flu or grip. The Spanish Flu was worse than previous strains of influenza as it would rapidly attack the lungs and cause bacterial pneumonia. “The 1918 pandemic virus infected cells in the upper respiratory tract, transmitting easily, but also deep in the lungs, damaging tissue and often leading to viral as well as bacterial pneumonias.”…/journal-plague-year-18096…/

Most of Upson’s reported WWI fatalities attribute pneumonia as their cause of death, including Joe Pete Thurston and Lucious Worthy, the first Caucasian and African American casualties of the war.

This article from the Thomaston Times, October 25, 1918, was the only local mention of a WWI fatality that actually named Spanish Flu as the cause.

What do you think? Could the Upson fatalities attributed to pneumonia actually be victims of this pandemic?


Thomaston Times, October 25, 1918


Thomaston Times, November 01, 1918

Sep 30

Women's Suffrage - Woodrow Wilson in 1918

Posted on September 30, 2019 at 1:24 PM by Jamesan Stuckey

On this day in history, 101 years ago, the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, made a speech that would forever impact women’s rights.

When Wilson was elected in 1912, Suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) organized a march to Washington, D.C. with the following purpose: "to march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.” The protest would take place March 3, 1913, just as many Americans were filing to the nation’s capital to see Wilson’s inauguration the next day. The march or parade as it was also called held several prominent speakers, such as Helen Keller.

Unfortunately, many of the marchers were tripped, shoved, and assaulted, with even some police participating in harassment. By the end, 100 women were hospitalized, but their mistreatment helped to amplify the event. It led to major news stories and even Congressional Hearings, although it would be seven more years before their goal was finally achieved.

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Women's Suffrage March, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In the meantime, President Wilson would only express what historians note as “lukewarm” sentiments towards female suffrage; However, his tune seemed to have drastically changed by September 30th, 1918. Appealing to Congress, Wilson spoke of the great impact women had made in industries and along the home front, while America’s men were overseas during World War I.

“We have made partners of women in this war…Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege, and right?”

Thomaston Times, July 27, 1917.

Another factor said to have impacted the President in this change was the treatment of White House picketers in June, 1917. The women, who had been standing outside the White House gates for months, were taken into custody for obstructing traffic. Once in custody, they received beatings, faced unsanitary conditions, and were force fed after they had pledged a hunger strike to oppose their arrest. After hearing of these conditions, Wilson made his fateful remarks to Congress. Although the bill died in the Senate, Congress finally passed the 19th amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. Although Georgia never officially ratified this amendment until 50 years later, in 1970.

So, where does Upson fit in during this time? It should be noted that the women of Upson County were actively doing their part to support the war effort. In fact, it was the women of Thomaston who organized the first Red Cross Chapter here in the county in 1917. Additionally, the local DAR chapter had a largely successful “sweater fund” which collected donations for sweaters, socks, medical supplies, and other essentials which were sent overseas.

Thomaston Times, June 22, 1917.

As stated in this 11/20/1920 issue of the Thomaston Times, local women were finally able to vote for the first time on December 13, the following month. However, see the list of conditions required for voting. All “non-white” ladies were completely excluded. Unfortunately, African American women were not granted the right to vote until many years later when the 24th amendment was passed in 1964.

Thomaston Times, November 20, 1920.