tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.
I-630 cuts through Little Rock, 1969 – 1985
excerpt: “The first mile of I-630 that bisected Little Rock was completed in 1969, but construction was halted soon after. From the start, the project faced legal challenges and backlash from the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for its impact on the Black communities and businesses the road was displacing and isolating. Despite an attempted freeway revolt, the community failed to halt construction permanently, and the 8-mile expressway was completed and opened to the public in 1985.”
The death penalty in Florida, October 1972
After the Furman v Georgia Supreme Court ruling in June 1972, Florida became the first state in the US to pass a law that reinstitute the death penalty on the state level. This, of course, was not on the radar of most GenXers, the oldest of whom were seven at the time, but because other Southern states quickly followed suit, it meant that we grew up in the age of the death penalty. Today, all eleven Southern states have it. Alabama is the only state in the nation where a judge can override a jury and impose a death sentence when the jury recommended life without parole.
University Mall opens in Tuscaloosa, August 1980
The largest shopping mall in west Alabama opened on the site of the Northington Naval Hospital, which was demolished a few years earlier. The reason that it was possible for the mall to be built where it was, according to Wikipedia, is: “These [hospital] ruins were finally destroyed during the filming of the climactic scene of the 1978 Burt Reynolds film Hooper.”
A “White Christmas” in Savannah, Georgia, 1989
an excerpt, from Savannah Magazine: “On Christmas Day, Savannah was still blanketed in white precipitation. It was the first White Christmas in recorded Savannah history. There hasn’t been another since.”
The Knoxville newspaper Fourteen Days, 1991
Though few details about this newspaper can be found, the Library of Congress’s records say that it was a biweekly published by “M. Freeman.” A termination date is unknown in all pertinent records.
level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews), fiction, poetry, and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.