From the Periodicals Collection: The Thumb Tack Tribune

The Thumb Tack Tribune was the student newspaper of Athens High School, one of the two segregated high schools (alongside Burney-Harris) that combined in 1970 to form the integrated Clarke Central. The Heritage Room’s Periodicals collection includes copies of 50 issues of the publication, all but one of which dates from the years, 1961-1966. It covered topics of interest to those attending the school. And, as we may expect, student newspapers have their humorous side.

If you were flipping through the issues and by chance glanced at the bottom of the front page of the April 1, 1966, edition before you looked at the top, you may have concluded you were holding it upside-down. But, no, it’s the April Fools’ Day issue. For the sake of not causing our readers any undue neck strain, we have created an alternate scan of the page, flipped 180 degrees.

The single earlier issue, from April 30, 1947, is provided here in full, to preserve this older, more fragile document. It is similar enough in content to the later issues to give a fuller grasp of what researchers can expect to find when reading this publication. As we have noted in our Old Newspapers series posted at this blog, old advertisements often both entertain and inform. On the fourth page, we find ads for a business that lasted until 2009: New Way Dry Cleaners and Laundry; and one that is still around, the Belk department store—at its original downtown location. Now of course it is a sort of “last man standing” out at the Georgia Square Mall.

Upon the establishment of Clarke Central, the Thumb Tack Tribune combined with the Burney-Harris student newspaper, the Highlight, to become Highlights of the Thumb Tack Tribune, as noted in an article about Michael Thurmond, who played a crucial role in the integration of the schools, at Cedar Blueprints, the present-day publication of Cedar Shoals High School. Reviewing the Clarke Central yearbooks found in the Heritage Room’s book collection, we discovered that the publication name changed to the Red and Gold for the 1974-1975 school year.

Do you have old copies of these or similar student newspapers from Athens schools? If so, perhaps you would consider donating them to the Heritage Room, where they would be preserved for future use by local residents and historical researchers. We also are always interested in getting more yearbooks, especially from Burney-Harris High School and middle and elementary schools. The yearbooks have always been a popular part of our collection.

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