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Interview with Russell Thomas, December 3, 2013

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:22 - Family history

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Partial Transcript: I'm Russell Thomas Junior, I was born...

Segment Synopsis: Thomas shares that he was born in Baltimore in 1939, though he grew up in Americus with his grandmother. He describes his grandmother's house and remembers the way he traveled to school each morning. Thomas discusses the events that took place in his neighborhood and talks about his grandmother's life.

Keywords: Americus, Georgia; Furlow Grammar School; Hill Street; Lee Street; Margaret Kemp Thomas; Mary Eda Thompson Thomas; Pearl Harbor; Russel Almarine Thomas; SAM Shoreline Railroad; Taylor Street; WWII

00:07:00 - Career experiences / Work as mayor

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Partial Transcript: I had a wonderful experience in school...

Segment Synopsis: Thomas talks about his education at Auburn University and his work in the farming industry. He describes the difficulties he experienced in the industry in the 1950s. Thomas recalls his work as mayor for Americus, a position he held for 17 years. Thomas talks about the revitalization of historic buildings along with substandard housing in Americus.

Keywords: Americus, Georgia; Emory University; agriculture; historic buildings; substandard housing

00:14:07 - Revitalization efforts / Economic situations

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Partial Transcript: Playing off of that...

Segment Synopsis: Thomas talks about the Habitat for Humanity headquarters in Americus, and the revitalization of the area's infrastructure. Thomas describes the economic conditions of Americus over the past few decades, and why he believes it has suffered.

Keywords: Americus, Georgia; Habitat for Humanity; Millard Fuller; Rylander Theater; Sumter County Initiative; Thomas Gailey; economy

00:21:06 - Economic Conditions (cont.) / Further historic preservation actions

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Partial Transcript: And we've got several excellent restaurants...

Segment Synopsis: Thomas reflects on the current economic condition of Americus and the history behind Georgia Southwestern University. He then talks about additional historic preservation actions he took as mayor. Thomas shares his pride for the work conducted by the leaders and people of Americus.

Keywords: Americus Agricultural and Mechanical College; Georgia Southwestern University; Historic Preservation Ordinances