This week’s Time Capsule looks at a $1 tax rate, an attempt to condemn the Leo Frank lynching site, teaching of Communism in Cobb, the start of the ZIP code system and the naming of the Gen. Lucius D. Clay Parkway.
100 years ago …
In the Friday, June 13, 1913 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier, it was reported on the front page that the Marietta Mayor and City Council fixed the city’s general tax rate for the year at $1. The tax covered three items – 40 cents for city purposes, 30 cents for school purposes and 30 cents for interest on bonds and a sinking fund.
A second page story in that week’s edition reported that John Quarles caught a 72 pound snapping turtle in a trap in the Chattahoochee River. The turtle measured 3-feet, 9-inches long and 1-foot, 7-inches wide. Quarles sold the turtle to Cliff Mayes for $3.50 to feed his squad of convicts. Mayes believed he could get 50 pounds of meat from the turtle.
The story was proof that history tends to repeat itself. Just recently, MDJ reporter Lindsay Field wrote a story about a 20 pound turtle found in a Marietta subdivision.
50 years ago …
Objections by black homeowners in the area were reported in the Sunday, June 9, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as being the doom of the proposed Johnson Street Urban Renewal project. A group of some 40-50 Baptist Town and Johnson Street residents appeared before the Marietta City Council to protest the plans. The residents said if they were forced to move from the area they would have nowhere else to go unless they left the city.
Also that day, black leaders in Marietta were waging a campaign to register at least 300 new black voters by the end of the week. An unnamed spokesman for the group, working as a “Voter’s League,” told the MDJ that he was trying to achieve increased ballot strength in the upcoming Oct. 9 municipal election and the 1964 state and county elections.
In the Wednesday, June 12, 1963 paper it was reported that the East Marietta site of the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank was the object of condemnation papers filed by the State Highway Department. The agency was seeking to incorporate the wooded lot known as “Leo Frank woods” into the right-of-way for Interstate 75, which was just being constructed. A court hearing was set for June 20 by Judge Albert Henderson.
Another story that day reported that officers were searching for vandals who ransacked the LaBelle Heights Elementary School in Smyrna, flooding the building by clogging up a sink and pouring glue on the floors.
The tenets of Communism as they compared to the American democratic system was reported in the Thursday, June 13, 1963 paper as being set to be taught in Cobb County schools for the first time in the fall. Superintendent Jasper Griffin explained that the Georgia General Assembly and the State Board of Education had both endorsed the program.
Also that day, ZIP code numbers to be used by Marietta residents in the new nationwide speed mail system were announced by Postmaster Pierce E. Cody. The new system was to go into effect on July 1. The new code system was expected to cut the possibility of mis-sent mail to a minimum and slice the time between pick up and delivery by as much as 24 hours.
20 years ago …
Cobb and its six cities were urging the Air Force in the Thursday, June 10, 1993 MDJ to scratch a proposal to move a 1,300-member reserve fighter wing from Dobbins Air Force Base. At a council meeting the night before, Marietta officials joined Cobb and its municipalities in a solid show of support for the 116th Tactical Fighter Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard by signing a resolution that asked the Air Force to reconsider its decision. Accepting the resolution, Brig. Gen. Steve Kearney, wing commander, thanked the council for their support on behalf of the 1,300 men and women in the unit. Adjutant Gen. William P. Bland, Georgia Air National Guard commander, was also reported as questioning the relocation and negotiating with the National Guard Bureau in Washington.
In the Friday, June 11, 1993 paper it was reported that retired four-star Gen. Lucius D. Clay Jr., then-74, accepted a resolution naming a portion of South Cobb Drive for his late father, who also retired from military service as a full general and was the military governor for the United States Army over occupied Germany after World War II. Officials from the state Department of Transportation also were on hand at the Marietta Kiwanis meeting with the first of the signs which would identify the stretch between Interstate 75 to Butler Street as the Gen. Lucius D. Clay Parkway. The signs were to be put in place that September.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.