Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dad Visits Montgomery in 1941

In November 1941 my dad Amos J. Wright, Jr. made a visit to Montgomery with his business law class from Etowah High School. Recently I was exploring some old photographs at mom's in Huntsville and came across these four that he snapped on that trip. My grandparents had a camera at that time; perhaps he took it or even had one of his own.

Below the photos are dad's notes written on the back of each one. I've also included some roughly contemporary images from other sources and historical information about the sites as well.

















Postcard of Kilby Prison from 1940



Opened in 1923,  the original Kilby Prison sat on 2500 acres four miles from downtown Montgomery. Twenty-seven acres were enclosed by a wall 20 feet high and six feet thick. The prison was named after Thomas E. Kilby, Governor from 1919 until 1923. Alabama's electric chair operated here for decades; on February 9, 1934, five black men were put to death within a thirty minute period. 

In 1970 Kilby was demolished; a new facility had opened at Mt. Meigs the previous year. Today the newer Kilby Correctional Facility receives and processes all male inmates in the state's prison system.



Official portrait of Gov. Thomas E. Kilby














Alabama state capitol ca. 1940



The Encyclopedia of Alabama notes about the capitol building, "The first State Capitol in Montgomery was built in 1847, but it burned down two years later. The current capitol was raised on the same foundation in 1851. The Alabama Legislature met at the capitol until 1985, when it moved to the Alabama State House."




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