It’s my party! That is, the Herald’s party. On February 7 the Herald turns 67 years old!
The Havana Herald and Havana Publishing Company have been is business for well over half a century. The first issue of the newspaper was published by original owners and founders Jack and Mattie Kate Dudley on February 7, 1947. Jack, just out of the military as an Army officer, had “discovered” Havana while driving around Florida looking for a suitable place to buy or start a newspaper. They operated the business until 1972, when they decided to sell the Herald and semi-retire.
A small group of investors from Bainbridge, Georgia who were associated with that city’s newspaper, The Post Searchlight, bought the Herald from the Dudleys in 1972. In September 1973, after completing college, I took the reigns. Eventually, I bought the owners out. I’ve been here ever since ... some 41 years!
The Herald has occupied several buildings around Havana during its existence. In 1980 it moved to its present location at 103 W. 7th Avenue.
Contributing to the Herald’s success have been good writers. Two of those, among many, are Billy Blackman, who was here for about 15 years, and now Byron Spires, who’s been at the Herald for 13 years. Byron, as did Billy, stays on top of what’s going on in Gadsden County.
Being a newspaper, the Herald does not please everyone. No paper does. We’re mostly criticised for our editorials that slight to the left or right (we get both). But it’s a good community newspaper that attempts to be objective editorially while focusing on its mission – the county’s local news and sports.
So happy 67th birthday ... and many more!
Let’s see who else has notable birthdays in February:
Clark Gable, Lisa Marie Presley, Shakira, Farrah Fawcett, Ayn Rand, Morgan Fairchild, Norman Rockwell, Alice Cooper, Oscar De La Hoya, Rosa Parks,
Henry "Hank" Aaron, Red Buttons, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bob Marley, Babe Ruth, Charles Dickens, James Dean, Jack Lemmon, Nick Nolte, Jules Verne, William Henry Harrison, George Stephanopoulos, Jeniffer Aniston, Sheryl Crow, Eva Gabor, Burt Reynolds,
Charles Darwin, Joanna Kerns, Abraham Lincoln, L.L. Bean, Jack Benny, Gregory Hines, Jimmy Hoffa, Susan B. Anthony, Ice-T, LeVar Burton, Michael Jordan, Rihanna, Yoko Ono, Jeff Daniels, Smokey Robinson, Charles Barkley, Cindy Crawford, Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, George Washington, Peter Fonda, W.E.B. DuBois, Joe Lieberman,
Johnny Cash, William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Jackie Gleason, John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Linus Pauling.
There are many more famous birthdays in Februrary, of course, but I didn’t want to bore you. A very important birthday at my house, in addition to the Herald’s, is my wife’s. But we won’t talk about age.