Government Street in Mobile is a bustling center of activity—kind of like what you’d see in a lot of big U.S. cities. The only thing that might seem out of place is the school. But that’s where Barton Academy, the first public school in Alabama, was built back in the late 1830s. Jerry Curran attended Barton during World War 2.
“I rode my bicycle to Barton Academy to be honest with you I see bicycles around but I wouldn’t want a kid to ride a bicycle down Government Street or Conti Street or any of them today,” says Curran. “So it was sleepy I guess you could say.”