Days Gone By - stories from the past

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Talladega’s Spring Street Recreational Center was the USO club in WWII

The Spring Street Recreational Center was a busy place during WWII. It was the home of the USO Club in Talladega, Talladega County, Alabama.


Couples_dancing_at_the_South_American_party_held_by_the_USO_club_in_Talladega_AlabamaCouple at Spring Street Recreational Center, Talladega, Alabama

Talladega, Alabama, rich in history and tradition, home to the Talladega Superspeedway, and at the foot of Cheaha State Park was also the place where soldiers went for recreation at the USO during WWII.

Conga_line_at_the_South_American_party2_held_by_the_USO_club_in_Talladega_AlabamaConga Line at the South American party held at the Spring Street Recreation Center, Talladega

In hundreds of communities USO initiated new programs of recreational activities. The programs were for general military use and for providing services of various kinds to industrial workers. The small towns were not neglected by USO. The small town of Talladega, Alabama also received a USO development.

ALABAMA DEATHS FROM WW I

A flier from 1942 read:

U. S. O.

502 S. Spring St., Talladega, Ala.

This U. S. O. CLUB Is For You

It is a place where you can plan and do the things you’d like ….. Parties, Sports, Meetings, Classes, or whatever program you’d like to plan.

Our Club -is equipped with reading rooms, writing, sewing, dark room and cooking facilities, shower baths, table games of all sorts-piano, radios, phonographs, and offer many personal services. Come in today.

We are expecting to see you this week at the U. S.

800px-Talladega_County_Alabama_Incorporated_and_Unincorporated_areas_Talladega_Highlighted

Talladega, Alabama at the time of the USO comprised 3.82 square miles. It is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known as the “Bride of the Mountains” because of the beauty of its setting.

Talladega National Forest

StateParkCheaha

It is in the heart of the great Coosa River watershed, in the northeastern section of the state of Alabama.

The industries of Talladega in 1945 included several types. The city had three large textile mills including the Bemis Brothers Bag Company housed in one of the most modern sill villages in the South. One oil mill, three foundries, two ice plants, two grist and feed mills, one steam laundry, two sheet metal plants, one creamery, two electric plants, one bakery, one bottling company, and one cotton gin comprise the industries.downtown talladega

War impact was felt in Talladega in 1942. By 1943 the population had in creased from 9,298 to 15,760. Three war production plants were in operation: the Brecon Loading Company, powder bag-loading plant at Talladega, Alabama; Ordnance Works at Childersburg, 20 miles from Talladega; Anniston Warehouse Corporation at Bynura, 15 miles away.

Source

  1. A STUDY OF THE SERVICES AID ACTIVITIES OF THE TALLADEGA USO CLUB AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING 1946
  2. Alabama State Archives

 Related Stories

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS: Settlement: Lost & Forgotten Stories is a collection of lost and forgotten stories of the first surveyors, traders, and early settlements of what would become the future state of Alabama.

Read about:

  • A Russian princess settling in early Alabama
  • How the early setters traveled to Alabama and the risks they took
  • A ruse that saved immigrants lives while traveling through Native American Territory
  • Alliances formed with the Native Americans
  • How an independent republic, separate from the United States was almost formed in Alabama

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Settlement:: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 2)


By (author): Donna R Causey
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Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .
For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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7 comments

  1. Charles Moore

    Several years back I knew a lady in the Birmingham chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association who volunteered at a USO club near Ft. McClellan. The women had to follow a very strict code of dress and behavior dancing and socializing with the GIs. Anything romantic was strictly off-limits. The women who volunteered for the USO knew it be the last night of dancing and fun a GI may have before being shipped overseas and saw their volunteer work as patriotic.

  2. Got a question…..I thought USO clubs were usually nearby a military installation. Talladega didn’t have one as far as I know. And back in the 40’s it wasn’t exactly an easy trip to get to Talladega from Anniiston (Ft. McClellan). I just never knew that the USO was located in cities without the military near. I do know that the USO was active in Bham during WWII, but it was a big city with access with larger transportation centers, Can someone answer this question for me? Thank you.

    1. Thank you for the question. There was a large defense plant in nearby and 25,000 new residents moved to the area to work there. Here is a story and film we did about the plant and towns. http://alabamapioneers.com/sylacauga-alabama-sets-example/#sthash.kVEvIjRH.dpbs

  3. Pat Williams

    If memory serves me correctly, it looked nothing like the pre rec center. Hadn’t thought about it in years.

  4. I’m not from here but I move here in 1972. And Talladega has an amazing history.

  5. Donna,
    I lived in Childersburg during the wa rand there was a USO there. I remember roller skating inside. [email protected].

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