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    Headlines through the years

    A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

    By CHRISTINE GRAEF

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 5, 2001


    Jan. 1, 1937

    County population could reach 177,331

    A population of 177,331 by 1960. That is the goal for Pinellas County on the basis of census records for the past 25 years.

    Pinellas is one of those political and geographic subdivisions of the state and nation for which it is reasonable to predict population increases in the next 25 years far beyond the average percentage of increase in the nation. The reasons for this are:

    First, Florida is certainly in line to show an unusual increase in population in the next 25 years because it is building upon climate and the wealth of a territory with distinctive potentialities and virgin resources.

    Second, because in the census enumerations of 1930, Florida showed a gain of population over 1920 leading all other states of the nation except California.

    The period of census standstill in St. Petersburg was that period from 1925 to 1930, because of the realty crash of 1926. It is certain that the increase from 1935 to 1936 will be carried on well to the census year of 1940. Census population predictions, however, cannot be based on straight percentage records.

    Any real spurt in realty activity and construction might bring Pinellas County to the 141,703 population here shown as of 1930 and considerable in advance of that time, now that St. Petersburg has reached a census thought to be about 50,000 in permanent residents, and with Clearwater, Largo, Tarpon Springs, Pass-a-Grille, the beaches, Gulfport and other towns set to "go" on their beautiful locations and climate.

    Dec. 5, 1957

    Demand for phone service growing

    CLEARWATER -- The rapid and continuing population growth in upper Pinellas County and the resultant demand for expanded telephone facilities has dictated construction projects in the Largo, Clearwater and Dunedin areas.

    Phone installations that go through the Largo exchange have almost doubled in less than two years. There were 2,355 booked up on Jan. 1, 1956. This figure had risen to 3,334 at the beginning of this year and reached 4,312 by Oct. 31.

    Dec. 4, 1957

    Stations propose neighboring towers

    Two Clearwater radio broadcasting firms applying for transmitter sites on county property near U.S. 19, off the Coachman overpass, have county commissioners wondering whether they may be inviting trouble from conflicting tower signals.

    Two weeks ago the commission tentatively approved the lease of a transmitter site on the county debris fill to Radio Clearwater Corp., of which WTAN announcer Charles "Chuck" Adams is president.

    Yesterday, Chairman Charles Fischer read a competitive offer from newly formed West Coast Broadcasting Corp. of Clearwater with Bruce Taylor as president. The firm also seeks a transmitter site on another portion of the debris fill for a planned 50,000-watt station. Fisher said Radio Clearwater called for a station with a 24-hour operation.

    When warned that the FCC might actually license both competing stations, the commission discussed fears that both units might interfere with one another by the proximity of the towers.

    Dec. 6, 1957

    Clearwater building nears record year

    CLEARWATER -- Heading toward an anticipated $12-million building year, first time ever for that lofty figure, Clearwater moved nearer its goal with another batch of permits yesterday.

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