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H. Randolph Holder collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Collection number: MSS-011

Scope and Contents

The H. Randolph Holder collection contains weekly editorials written and delivered by H. Randolph Holder on WGAU radio from 1956 to 1997, as well as correspondece related to the editorials. An index of the editorials prepared by Heritage Room staff in 2000 is included with the collection.

The commemorative glass mug bears the inscription: “Thank you! H. Randolph Holder Salute Sept. 11, 1997.”


  • 1956-1997


Biographical / Historical

H. Randolph Holder was born November 14, 1916, in Moline, Illinois. He attended Augustana College, and stayed in Rock Island, Illinois, to work at the WHBF radio station. During this time, he married Clementi Lacey-Baker.

In 1941, he entered the army and was part of the forces that landed in Oran and fought in North Africa. He was captured by German troops, February 1943, and interned at the Oflag 64 prisoner-of-war camp in Szubin, Poland. After three failed attempts, Holder escaped on January 23, 1945, and made his way back to U. S. troops via Russia, Egypt, and Italy. He wrote about this in the book, Escape to Russia. After the war, he served in the Army Reserve for over twenty years, retiring as a major. He received multiple honors for his military service including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for Combat.

He returned to radio after the war with positions at several stations before moving to Athens in 1948 to become news director and part owner of WRFC. He and a partner bought the Clarke Broadcasting Company, including WGAU, in 1956. Holder served as president of the Clarke Broadcasting Company until 1990 and then as chairman of the board until his death in 2002.

Holder had many leadership positions in professional broadcasting associations and committees at the state and national levels. In 1993, he was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame; in 2009, to the Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame.

Besides Holder’s professional accomplishments, he was an active member of the Athens community, giving his time, energies, and leadership to organizations as varied as the Boy Scouts, the Chamber of Commerce, the Athens Symphony, the Athens Parks and Recreation Department, the Georgia Museum of Art, the Red Cross, the Georgia Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and numerous veterans’ groups. He served varied functions with the Rotary Club, both local and in the wider Athens area, for more than fifty years.

In the Athens area, many remember the two signature catch phrases he used when broadcasting: “It’s a lovely day to be in Athens”; and, “Keep smiling until 10 o’clock, and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”


1.79 Linear Feet (Two boxes each measuring 5.5 by 6.5 by 10 and one box measuring 10.5 by 8.5 by 3)




WGAU radio editorials, written and delivered by H. Randolph Holder, and related correspondence, 1956-1997.


The collection is mostly organized in a single series, arranged chronologically by year. The commemorative glass comprises a second series and is contained in a separate box.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

H. Randolph Holder

Related Materials

Holder, Howard Randolph. Escape to Russia. Iberian Publishing Company, 1994. GR 940.5472 HOLDER.

An interview with H. Randolph Holder is contained in the Rendezvous With History: The World War II Oral History Project collection (MSS 008).

Clementi Holder was a member of the Elijah Clarke Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Several of Randolph Holder's editorials and speeches are recorded in the chapter's scrapbooks, which comprise the Elijah Clarke County NSDAR scrapbook collection (MSS 014).

H. Randolph Holder family papers, MSS 3821, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries. This collection includes three editorials that are not owned by the Athens-Clarke County Heritage Room: an editorial from January 1961 related to riots that took place when the University of Georgia was desegregated; an editorial entitled "The Little Sandy Trail Creek Watershed Project," August 1, 1965; and an undated editorial titled, "It's Taking a Long Time, But It Will Be Worth It," regarding the referendum on the merger of Athens and Clarke County.

H. Randolph Holder collection
Jennifer Sirotkin
February 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Heritage Room, Athens-Clarke County Library Repository

2025 Baxter Street
Athens GA 30606