The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. Formally, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of theUnited States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel for the pilots.(source Wikipedia)
Albion had four servicemen that served as Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. They were: Robert Chandler, Grover Crumsby, Finis Holt and Richard Weatherford. They were part of a group of around 1,000 black soldiers who were trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to become pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. There has been research and write-ups about our local men by others in the past. It is very unusual for a community the size of Albion to have been the home of four of the Tuskegees.
Source Historical Albion Michigan
One of the exhibits at the Gardner House Museum upstairs is about Albion’s veterans, including Albion’s Tuskegee Airmen. Currently one of the exhibit rooms displays World War II photographs and memorabilia of area veterans including three Albion residents who were Tuskegee Airmen.
Source Albion Historical Society home page.
Do you know the history of Walk for Warmth? Here’s some information about how it all started in Albion!
Community Action agencies across the nation hold an annual “Walk for Warmth” fundraising event in which funds are raised to assist low to middle-income individuals and families who struggle with the costs of heating their home. The roots of this event are traced back to Albion, Michigan.
On February 14, 1983, Tim Kurtz, the Albion Community Action Coordinator at the time, held a 24 hour walk-a-thon to raise funds for heating assistance. “Helping the Poor in 24” was his motto. In addition to the $1,500 he raised for heat-related emergencies, he raised community awareness about the needs of low-income and elderly in the community. This was the first Walk for Warmth.
Three years later, on February 15, 1986, Community Action expanded the Walk for Warmth into Barry, Branch, Calhoun, and St. Joseph Counties. That year the organization raised $16,700 and had 325 individuals walk in the events. Two year later in 1988, the Walk for Warmth had increased to 450 people attending the event while raising $18,000.
In 1990, ten more counties in the State of Michigan held Walk for Warmth events. Today, Walk for Warmth events can be found all across the country. We are so proud that Walk for Warmth can be traced back to our community.
More historical information can be found here.
This year’s Community Action Agency events can be found here.
Albion Middle School students will be attending Marshall Middle School beginning mid January. Watch for information from the school system and in the news. While this is a bit of a change, there are a few opportunities here that Albion Middle School students may appreciate. Marshall Middle School offers educational opportunities that Albion Community School was not able to provide. This winter is fairly mild so far, and the travel may be easier due to the warmer than usual temperatures. Some of the bus stops are described in this postcard provided to us by a Marshall School board member. Click on the postcard to see a larger view suitable for printing. Visit the Marshall Public Schools website.
If any Albion youth are interested in writing about their experience of the Marshall Schools, especially the benefits they observe, they can request membership in the Facebook Group Albion Michigan Arts and post their comments on that site for now. Later, if there is interest, we can set up a page just for the experience of education in Albion. The activity of sharing information about new ways of learning will be helpful overall, and may be also useful in a students resume down the road.
Albion High School students began attending school in Marshall High School (see photo at left) the fall of 2014. Albion students reported more opportunities in several areas, even though they missed the days of the Albion Wildcats.
After the winter recess, Albion Middle School students will also begin to attend school in Marshall. More information about this decision: Battle Creek Enquirer article Dec. 21, 2015
Here is a link to the Marshall Public Schools website:
See more information about the changes to Albion Public Education including videos of meetings and key comments on the Education page on AlbionMich.net
Albion has a number of very interesting claims to fame, including the first known observance of Mother’s Day. Two songs written in Albion have historical markers: 1- “The Old Rugged Cross,” and 2- “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.” Albion College has a historical marker, as does Starr Commonwealth.
Several of the markers are photographed and recorded at this link: albionmich.com/markers/
To access the pdf map of the historical markers suitable for printing, click here.
Giving to the American Legion is fun at this time of year. Look for the Toys for Tots signs around town at the Library and Albion Ford and other places. Please leave new unwrapped toys only. This project is being run locally by the Albion American Legion Post 55. This was the display for the American Legion at the “Show Your Best” event on Saturday Oct 24. Several veterans also checked in and asked about joining our organization. Toys for Tots.
Visit the American Legion online and enjoy their hospitality for a number of food events in their location by the Kalamazoo River. www.ALpost55albionmi.org
Albion-Homer United Way – accepting donations and volunteer applications.
The Board of Directors of the Albion-Homer United Way is pleased to announce an exciting shift in our programming priority for 2015!
The board approved moving our perspective (priority funding) towards 3rd grade reading competency programs, effective 2015.
Statistics indicate that if children are not reading at grade level by the conclusion of 3rd grade, they continue to fall further behind as they progress through school.
On October 24, 2015, there was an event called “Show Your Best” with Albion businesses and civic organizations invited to participate. We will post a few images here of the event. Over 200 people visited the show, and there were also many participants. There was a special presentation at the end of the event to unveil the proposed Welcome to Albion signs. These signs will showcase area organizations and show that Albion truly is a welcoming community. We will share related info about the themes in the signs, and participants of the event in upcoming posts.