The Week of December 13th
by Damon_Poirier
 MDJ Time Capsule
December 12, 2012 09:59 AM | 2069 views | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the beginning of the state fire inspector’s office, Fred Tokars offering a reward for his wife’s killer and Lockheed Corp. spending $1.525 billion to buy General Dynamics Corp.’s fighter jet division.

100 years ago …

On the front page of the Friday, Dec. 13, 1912 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier there was a story about a deputy sheriff who had returned from Gadsen, Ala., with an escaped fugitive from Marietta. The man, jailed on charges of selling whiskey, had escaped the city jail by sawing through the bars of a window.

Also that week, there was a story about W.R. Joyner, a longtime fire chief and former mayor of Atlanta, being appointed by Insurance Commissioner W.A. Wright as the state fire inspector. Joyner’s duties with this new office created by the state legislature was listed as investigating the causes of mysterious fires and finding evidence against people suspected of arson.

50 years ago …

A Marietta Police sergeant was reported in the Monday, Dec. 10, 1962 paper as having been attacked and disarmed by a burly 220-pound man who declared that he was going to kill the officer around 7 p.m. the day before on heavily-travelled Whitlock Avenue just a few feet from the intersection with Lindley Avenue. The sergeant, who had stopped the man on the suspicion of drunk driving, was beaten to the ground with his own pistol.

The officer, also said, that at one point the armed man calmly directed traffic around them. Numerous cars passed as the uniformed officer lay sprawled in the middle of the road, but no one stopped to help. After firing three times at the injured officer, the man fled with the four other individuals that were in his car. Police later caught the vehicle and its occupants on Dallas Highway.

The county’s two hospital authorities meet for the first time to work out a cooperative agreement, according to the Tuesday, Dec. 11, 1962 paper. Dr. W. Harold Dellinger, a Smyrna dentist and chairman of the Cobb County Hospital Authority, said his group wanted to avoid duplicating facilities at Kennestone Hospital when it built its proposed new hospital in south Cobb. Kennestone was at the time operated by the Marietta Hospital Authority.

20 years ago …

In the Tuesday, Dec. 8, 1992 MDJ Cobb’s new superintendent Dr. Arthur Steller defended collecting $80,000 in unused sick leave before leaving his previous position as superintendent of the Oklahoma City school system. The payment had been the target of an internal investigation being conducted by the Oklahoma auditor and inspector’s office. The dispute centered on Dr. Steller receiving the money through the school system payroll office without prior approval from the school board.

East Cobb tax lawyer Fred Tokars, whose wife, Sara, was shot to death Nov. 29, announced that he was offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to her killer in the Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1992 paper. Tokars said that he had nothing do with his wife’s death and pledged to fully cooperate with police in the investigation.

Tokars would later be convicted and sentenced to two life terms for the murder of his wife and other crimes including money laundering and racketeering.

Lockheed Corp., moving to better its position in the shrinking defense industry said in the Thursday, Dec. 10, 1992 paper that it would spend $1.525 billion to buy General Dynamics Corp.’s fighter jet division. The purchase of the tactical military aircraft division gave Cobb-based Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co. two-thirds of the F-22 stealth fighter contract.

In April 1991, Lockheed Aeronautical, General Dynamics and The Boeing Co. of Seattle, Wash., were awarded a $9.55 billion contract to build 11 developmental versions of the 21st century fighters – nine single-seat fighters and two twin-seat trainers – for the Air Force. The construction contract – estimated to be worth $90 to $100 billion – to build 648 of the planes was expected to be awarded in 1995 and would run through 2015, with the possibility of being stretched out.

However, Lockheed learned in 2009 that the 195th F-22 Raptor would be the last one ordered by the U.S. military.

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.

If you are interested in learning more about the stories that were presented in this week’s column, you can search the newspaper’s digitized microfilm archives online. NewsBank, which hosts the archives for the Marietta Daily Journal, charges a fee for retrieved articles and has various price packages available. If you have any trouble with your username, password or payment options, please contact NewsBank at 

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