MDJ Time Capsule by Damon_Poirier
This week’s Time Capsule looks at the C-130 Hercules “One World,” the integration of Marietta High School and the F-22.
August 30, 2014 04:00 AM | 69666 views | 0 0 comments | 2364 2364 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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The Week of January 3rd
by Damon_Poirier
December 31, 2012 10:17 AM | 1059 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at annexation attempts in both Smyrna and Marietta along with developments in the investigation of the Sara Tokars’ shotgun murder.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Jan. 3, 1913 Marietta Journal and Courier, the entire front page held an ad from the T.L. Wallace Clothing Company thanking friends and customers for their patronage.

There was also a story that week about how a woman on Christmas morning was cranking her automobile in front of a residence on Kennesaw Avenue when the handle flew back and broke her right arm in two places. Dr. Howard Perkinson attended the woman and quickly had her fractures reduced and bound.

Another story told how the Gignilliat property, which had a five to six room house that sat on two to three acres of land, was going to be auctioned off the following Tuesday.

50 years ago …

The Cobb Advisory Board was reported, in the Wednesday, Jan. 2, 1963 MDJ, as having voted to buy the part-time services of Marble J. Hensley of Chattanooga, Tenn., as a professional planning engineer who would review zoning change applications. He was also to gather data in preparation for the county’s setting up of a full-time planning department.

Also that day, more than 100 people lined up outside the motor vehicle license tag office in Marietta to buy the new red and white lettered 1963 Georgia tags.

Residents of a sprawling southwest Smyrna area overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to annex into the city in an unofficial straw vote that was reported in the Friday, Jan. 4, 1963 paper. Somewhat stunned Smyrna officials reacted to the lopsided decision by declaring that new fees might be considered for city services provided to many of the 1,200 residents in the area.

Mayor Jake Ables said he believed the vote doomed city expansion into the area during his administration. But, he declared that the area was bordered by the city on three sides and would eventually be swallowed up and automatically annexed.

Another annexation story that day featured the boundaries of the city of Marietta growing by some 40 acres after it annexed six separate tracts. City officials had already okayed the taking of the property, but actual annexation depended upon the Cobb legislative delegation amending the Marietta charter at the upcoming session of the General Assembly. The largest of the tracts was some 25 acres in the then yet-to-be developed Whitlock Valley subdivision, located in west Marietta off Kirkpatrick Drive.

20 years ago …

In the Friday, Jan. 1, 1993 MDJ, Fred Tokars denied any involvement in the Nov. 29 shotgun murder of his wife, Sara, and begged reporters to quit hounding him and his two sons. Meanwhile, the two men charged with the murder were scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing before Cobb Chief Magistrate James Bodiford. Cobb investigators and District Attorney Tom Charron said that they also considered Fred Tokars a suspect.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of December 27
by Damon_Poirier
December 24, 2012 10:12 AM | 1209 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at Christmas power outages, train wrecks and developments in the sale of the Kennesaw House.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Dec. 27, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a front page ad that published expressions of thanks to the people of Marietta and Cobb County from the merchants and business men of Marietta that advertised in the newspaper during the year.

50 years ago …

A member of the Cobb Advisory Board called, in the Monday, Dec. 24, 1962 paper, for a speeding up of a long-range plan to extend water lines down the western side of the county. At the time, most west Cobb residents were depending on private wells. Ordinary Garvis Sams, who made the proposal, said the county should also consider acquiring easements for laying sewer lines in conjunction with the new water lines.

Also that day, the entire city of Acworth was reported as blacked out for 30 minutes the morning before when a car hit a utility pole on Southside Drive. Crews from the city Water and Lights Department put up a new pole.

During the outage, one woman called the fire department in distress stating that her Christmas turkey was cooking when the lights went out.

In the Wednesday, Dec. 26, 1962 paper, more than 3,000 Cobb County and City of Marietta homes were reported as not having power for up to five hours on Christmas Day as freezing rain weighed down power lines and snapped off tree limbs. Heads of both the county and city electrical departments said the power outages were the worst for any Christmas Day that they could recall.

On the heels of the Dec. 3 train derailment in Kennesaw carrying atomic materials for the AEC, that was mentioned in an earlier column, another train derailment occurred in Kennesaw. Twelve of the southbound 76-car Louisville and Nashville freight train derailed on Thursday, Dec. 27, 1962 in the heart of the city after an automobile rammed into the side of one of the cars at fog-blanketed Moon’s Crossing.

Rail cars loaded with cargo were thrown along the tracks near the historic depot in the center of town. Two men traveling in the automobile were injured in the mishap, but reported in good condition at Kennestone Hospital.

Cobb police were reported in the Friday, Dec. 28, 1962 paper, as searching for a slender young bandit who calmly drank a bottle of milk at a grocery store before drawing a pistol and robbing the operator of $162.

In the Sunday, Dec. 30, 1962 paper, it was reported that an automobile carrying two people crashed through the guard rail of the bridge on Old Highway 41 that spanned the Louisville and Nashville railroad tracks north of the Chattahoochee River. The automobile plunged 40 feet to the railroad tracks below and then was hit by a passing freight train. Both passengers survived the mishap, but were severely injured.

20 years ago …

Two men were arrested and charged with the murder in the shooting death of 39-year-old Sara Tokars of east Cobb in the Thursday, Dec. 24, 1992 MDJ. The arrests were announced by Chief of Detectives A.B. Allread at a news conference at the Cobb police headquarters. Police declined to say which of the two men acted as the lone gunman who shot Tokars in front of her two young sons as she drove along Powers Road in east Cobb.

After months of eager waiting, the Downtown Marietta Development Authority in the Thursday, Dec. 31, 1992 paper, was expected to close on the sale of the historic Kennesaw House. At a specially called meeting the day before, DMDA officials unanimously approved a 15-year loan with Barnett Bank for $550,000 that would allow the self-taxing group to purchase the house that sits on the Marietta Square. The house was being bought from Boston-based firm, Petrous & Co., for $25,000.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of December 20
by Damon_Poirier
December 19, 2012 12:15 PM | 1296 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at a pair of bold robberies and a jail break by a career escape artist.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Dec. 20, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a story about how the newspaper had installed a Standard Mergenthaler Linotype machine at its offices. The machine, also called a type-setting machine, was operated by one man and could set as much type as seven or eight men.

50 years ago …

Marietta public schools, according to the Sunday, Dec. 16, 1962 MDJ, were expecting to lose $143,000 a year in federal funds if Congress allowed a law providing aid to “impacted areas” to expire at the end of June 1963. The funds comprised 11-percent of the city school budget.

In the Monday, Dec. 17, 1962 paper, thieves reportedly battered their way through a wall of a service station to steal $469. Police said the hole was torn through a sheet-rock wall of an outside restroom at the Marietta Oil Company on Powder Springs Street.

The Lockheed-Georgia Co., according to the Tuesday, Dec. 18, 1962 paper, paid its county taxes and was the biggest single payment in Cobb’s history for the second year in a row. Lockheed paid with a check for $550,140.02.

The previous year’s check was $547,510.34. Company spokesmen said the increase was due to taxes on commercial JetStars, exports of aircraft and parts, and new fixed assets.

Also that day, it was reported that Kennesaw City Councilman James Adams, who decided not to seek re-election in order to run for the mayor’s post, unseated Mayor Hugh Brinkley 287 to 233 in the city-wide election the day before.

In the Wednesday, Dec. 19, 1962 paper, auto safety seat belts were being installed in all county police and sheriff’s vehicles as the result of a near-fatal crash in which two Cobb police officers were injured on Dec. 8. In that incident, a patrolman was thrown partially through the windshield of a county police car when the vehicle wrecked while chasing another car on Bankhead Highway.

Thieves, reported in the Thursday, Dec. 20, 1962 paper, ripped open a safe at the Cobb County tax office in the pre-dawn hours and fled with an estimated $8,000 in cash and thousands more in checks. This was the fourth safe raided in Marietta in the past two weeks.

A career escape artist, whose parole was revoked when he was charged in a Cobb robbery 18 months earlier, was reported in the Friday, Dec. 21, 1962 paper, as having made his ninth break for freedom. The convict and three other prisoners threatened an unarmed guard at the Meriwether County prison camp in Warm Springs, took keys to a prison truck and escaped.

20 years ago …

Cobb police officials in the Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1992 MDJ, refused comment on a TV station’s report that police had questioned a former business associate of east Cobb tax lawyer Fred Tokars in connection with the Nov. 29 slaying of Tokars’ wife, Sara.

A story broadcast by WXIA-Channel 11 in Atlanta said the man had been arrested on a bad-check warrant and subsequently was being questioned about the murder. Quoting an anonymous source, WXIA reported that prior to Sara Tokars’ slaying, the man had tried to hire a hit man for a friend.

Also that day, Watergate player John Ehrlichman of Sandy Springs, a former advisor to President Richard Nixon, took shots at President-elect Bill Clinton’s choice of cabinet members in a speech before the Marietta Kiwanis Club at Jimmy’s On The Square.

Topping Ehrlichman’s list of poor choices was Rep. Leon Panetta, D-Calif., chosen by Clinton to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. Currently, Panetta serves as the U.S. Defense Secretary under President Barack Obama.

In the Sunday, Dec. 20, 1992 paper, there was a story about the arrest of a Marietta woman who had been waiting to have her child photographed with Santa Claus. The woman was held in the Smyrna jail on an aggravated assault charge after a gun in her purse was accidentally fired and shot another parent waiting in line.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of December 13th
by Damon_Poirier
December 12, 2012 09:59 AM | 1283 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of December 6th
by Damon_Poirier
December 07, 2012 01:03 PM | 1819 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at Lockheed being allowed to continue testing a nuclear-powered space engine and the murder of Sara Tokars, which set in motion the high-profile Fred Tokars murder trial.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Dec. 6, 1912 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier there was a story about Mariettan John D. Northcutt having sold his apple orchard in Gilmer County to W. A. Gatlin for $23,000. The property, which had more than 6,000 trees of eight apple varieties, covered nearly 650-acres in the north Georgia mountains.

Tax Collector W.P. Stephens had an ad on the front page of the newspaper that week announcing that there were only 16 days until State and County taxes were due. The ad also stated that 4,372 people had not yet paid their taxes.

Another ad on the front page was for The Marietta Book Store which announced it was Santa Claus’ headquarters for games. Games of every description from Jackstones to Mumble Pegs, card games, Tiddle-de-Winks, Old Maid and dozens of others were on sale for five cents to 10-cents.

50 years ago …

Skin divers were reported as combing the bottom of the Chattahoochee River in the Sunday, Dec. 2, 1962 MDJ in search of two pistols used in the slaying of a Cobb service station attendant, mentioned in last week’s column. Divers were called in after dragging teams, using three large magnets, worked for four days in up to 15 feet of water near the Powers Ferry Road bridge without finding the weapons.

The Cobb Advisory Board in the Tuesday, Dec. 4, 1962 paper ordered a uniform policy drawn up governing when the county would pay for autopsies on accident victims and when it would pay medical bills for jail inmates who needed hospitalization. Board chairman Herbert McCollum, the county commissioner, said what he considered to be unnecessary autopsies were costing the county thousands of dollars a year.

The transfer of the Georgia Nuclear Laboratories at Dawsonville to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was expected to open a new chapter in space work done in Georgia, according to the Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1962 paper. The AEC intended for Lockheed to continue to operate the labs, which previously operated them under lease from the Air Force in a contract set to expire in April 1963.

Lockheed was participating in the reactor-in-flight-test (RIFT) program at the labs, which was the testing of a nuclear-powered space engine. The company was excited because the AEC had made a statement that the Georgia labs seemed suited for testing space engines even more powerful than the RIFT engine as well as programs related to electrical nuclear propulsion.

The development of a nuclear-powered rocket engine began in May 1962. At that time, NASA awarded Lockheed $180 million to test the engine. The first nuclear-powered rocket stage was expected to be ready for launching by an advanced Saturn booster in the 1966-1967 period.

Also that day, Marietta Mayor Sam Welsch said he would move that the city council consider adopting an ordinance making it a violation of the city code to show obscene movies in Marietta. The mayor had received telephone calls complaining about a film that was currently being shown.

20 years ago …

In the Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1992 MDJ, there was a story about how 39-year-old Sara Tokars of east Cobb was killed by a single shotgun blast to the back of the head. Mrs. Tokars was killed by a person who abducted her and her two sons from their home at gunpoint after they returned home from a Thanksgiving holiday trip to visit family in Florida.

Mrs. Tokars was driving along Powers Road less than a mile from her home when she was shot by the man sitting in the backseat. Her late-model Toyota 4Runner then veered off the left side of the road, through a row of brush and small trees before coming to a stop 75-feet into a vacant lot.

The case would eventually become one of the metro area’s high-profile murder cases of the 1990s.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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Cobb’s Atomic Train Wreck
by Damon_Poirier
December 03, 2012 02:06 PM | 2241 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Fifty years ago, on the heels of October’s 13-day long Cuban Missile Crisis, the residents of Cobb County faced the fear of yet another nuclear crisis. This time, however, the threat was not coming from Russia or the distant Caribbean island nation of Cuba, but a train wreck that happened right in their backyards.

A northbound freight train whose cargo included a classified shipment for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) jumped the tracks near Kennesaw at the U.S. 41 underpass in a violent pile-up at about 5 a.m. on the morning of Monday, Dec. 3, 1962. At the time of the wreck, the train was believed to be traveling at 38 to 40 miles an hour.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported that 24 of the 67-car Louisville and Nashville train, which was being hauled by three diesel engines, derailed with AEC guards onboard accompanying a secret nuclear shipment. Two of the five guards, riding in a passenger car in the middle of the train, suffered minor injuries.

Twisted, torn cars and rails were scattered for more than 300 yards along the tracks. An empty automobile-trailer car had crashed over an embankment and tore down telephone lines running next to the tracks, while a fuel car had torn open and spilled gasoline into the nearby woods. A flat-bed car carrying a heavy tractor-trailer, lashed down with chains, was found leaning at a 45-degree angle.

The two cars that carried the AEC’s secret nuclear materials, however, appeared to have escaped serious damage. Guards quickly sealed off the wreckage from onlookers as Cobb County police dealt with two minor car wrecks on U.S. 41, which passed within sight of the wreckage.

At first the media was kept away and the guards refused to allow pictures to be taken. After receiving word from their superiors, the guards allowed journalists to approach the scene. But, government agents continued to stand guard at the AEC cars and prevented folks from getting too close.

AEC spokesmen arriving on the scene following the derailment would not reveal what kind of nuclear material was being transported in the rail cars or whether the material included military weapons.

The secret nuclear material was speculated as having belonged to either the Air Force or the Army and possibly being transported from San Antonio, Texas to the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Some in the community were worried that the incident might be like the one in Florence, S.C., several years earlier where an Air Force bomber had accidentally dropped an unarmed nuclear bomb near that city. While the nuclear device did not detonate in that case – a charge of explosive contained inside the bomb did go off causing considerable damage.

Officials, however, told the local community that there were no bombs or other explosive materials aboard the wrecked train and that there was no danger of any leaked radioactivity.

Gene Blanc, the regional director of the AEC in Atlanta at the time, was quoted as saying that the AEC and federal government frequently shipped quantities of radioactive material to civilian institutions – including hospitals and schools, which were licensed by the AEC to handle the material. Marietta’s own Kennestone Hospital was one local institution that received material from the AEC for use in patient treatment.

Officials also said that typically when the military services transport nuclear material, they send along guards to watch over the materials with an escort car – which is often converted into living quarters featuring bunks and a kitchen.

The tracks were finally cleared of debris by railway workmen after more than 17 hours. Specially-equipped trains had to be brought in from Atlanta and Chattanooga to remove the wreckage from both ends of the scene.

Investigators said there was a possibility that an old, rusty section of rail might have snapped or twisted out of place causing the derailment. But, the railroad officially reported that the cause was undetermined.

A team of AEC investigators, however, were sent to the scene to probe the chance of sabotage.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of November 29th
by Damon_Poirier
November 29, 2012 09:50 AM | 1719 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the Thanksgiving Eve murder-robbery of a local service station attendant and a major fire at the Dunaway Drug Store on Church Street.

100 years ago …

The death of Cobb County native John Tyler Cooper, an ex-mayor of Atlanta, was reported in the Friday, Nov. 29, 1912 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier. Cooper, who died after a long illness, was the son of Col. James Fairlee Cooper who was one of the founders of the Georgia Military College.

Another story in that week’s paper told how Tom Higham, who lived on Roswell Street and was employed by the Southern Furniture Company in Atlanta, had been struck by a train earlier in the week out in the factory’s rail yard. Higham, who was watching another train didn’t see the Louisville and Nashville train that struck him due to smoke. The impact from the engine broke his collar bone and injured both his head and arm.

50 years ago …

In the Monday, Nov. 26, 1962 paper, the Cobb Advisory Board voted to launch a $60,000 remodeling project to convert the old city jail behind the county courthouse into offices. The remodeling, according to Cobb commissioner Herbert McCollum, was only a “stop-gap” measure to provide extra space for all county departments and did not mean the advisory board had given up hope on building a new courthouse.

Two Sprayberry high school students were reported in the Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1962 paper as having been charged in the Thanksgiving Eve murder-robbery of a local service station attendant.

The attendant’s body, found by a customer, had been shot at least five times. Officers said the station office was riddled with bullet holes and estimated that the killers had fired 10-12 shots.

Officers were dragging the Chattahoochee River at the Powers Ferry Road bridge where they believed the two pistols used in the crime were tossed.

A story about three Cobb County improvement projects – the widening of South Cobb Drive, the building of a Lake Allatoona water purification plant and making the county airport near Kennesaw a “primary” facility – were discussed after a meeting between Commissioner McCollum and U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge in the Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1962 paper.

The airport improvement had been in the discussion stage for many months. The designation would entitle the airport to an air traffic control tower, which would be a step toward making bad weather landings possible.

Firemen battled against poisonous fumes and intense heat as a chemical-fed fire raged at a Kennesaw Plaza drug store for several hours, threatening a row of businesses, according to a story in the Thursday, Nov. 29, 1962 paper. A number of firemen were overcome by the black smoke in spite of gas masks and had to be dragged into fresh air to be revived.

Investigators said they believed the fire started from a short in a refrigerator motor in a back room of the Dunaway Drug Store on Church Street. Employees reported they noticed an “unusual smell” before the fire was found. When bottles began shattering in the room from the heat, the druggist who opened the door to investigate was met with a wall of flame.

Marietta fire fighters steadily poured water on the blaze, which started at about 4:30 p.m., and conducted salvage operations until about 1:30 a.m. the following morning.

20 years ago …

Gov. Zell Miller signed an executive order declaring parts of Cobb County disaster areas in the Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1992 MDJ following the touchdown of the tornado in west Cobb that was mentioned in last week’s column.

The twister, which moved northeast, struck a KOA campground near Cobb Parkway and Old Highway 41, and caused extensive damage to a subdivision and mobile home park in Kennesaw before moving into Cherokee County.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of November 22nd
by Damon_Poirier
November 21, 2012 10:45 AM | 1546 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the crash landing of an unidentified flying object on a Marietta farm, a plague of rats in Smyrna and a destructive tornado that severely damaged the county.

100 years ago …

On the front page of the Friday, Nov. 22, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier, there was an advertisement about the auction of the historic Gignilliat Home at 111 Cleveland Place in Marietta that would take place the following January.

Another story in that week’s edition stated that the United States Civil Service Commission would have an examination on Dec. 14 in Marietta to fill the contemplated vacancy of the Kennesaw postmaster. The pay for the job was listed as $571 for the fiscal year.

A third story that week discussed how the majority of drivers in Marietta were disregarding a local law that prohibited the use of muffler cut-outs within the city limits.

50 years ago …

In the Sunday, Nov. 18, 1962 MDJ there was a story about a steel construction worker, who claimed that 6,000 volts of electricity had passed through his body while on a building project. The man had filed a lawsuit for $712,516 against a Marietta contractor and Georgia Power Company.

He alleged that his hands and feet were burned while he was working on the sanctuary of the Olive Springs Baptist Church on Austell Road. The suit stated that power from high tension electrical wires near the site entered a crane that was hoisting girders and passed over into him while he was bolting the steel beams together.

Marietta Police Chief Ernest Sanders was reported in the Monday, Nov. 19, 1962 paper as taking a personal hand in the fight against moonshine whiskey traffic. The chief helped arrest a motorist charged with carrying two gallons of illegal whiskey earlier that day.

He also took part in a weekend raid at a Marietta residence where officers found 21 gallons of moonshine buried at the side of the home. The police crackdown began after a city prisoner had found a half gallon of moonshine in a gutter on Lawrence Street.

Some 1,000 Air Force reservists ordered to active duty at Dobbins Air Force Base during the Cuban Missile crisis were released in time for Thanksgiving by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara according to the Thursday, Nov. 22, 1962 paper. The release was triggered by President John F. Kennedy’s decision to dissolve the naval ship blockade around Cuba.

A story about an oblong-shaped object with NASA printed on the side that was found hanging in a tree by the lines of two parachutes was in the Friday, Nov. 23, 1962 paper.

Some Air Force personnel who initially examined the object at the Allgood Road farm in Marietta first thought it might have been part of a tiny missile. The object was the size of a table radio and covered in plastic that the Air Force personnel suspected might have been protection against radiation.

A weatherman who stopped by Dobbins Air Force Base and examined the object, however, said it was not a missile part. Instead, the object was a common weather recording device used on hundreds of balloons sent aloft every day by the Navy, Air Force and occasionally the space agency.

20 years ago …

In the Wednesday, Nov. 19, 1992 MDJ, there was a story about rats measuring as much as a foot long settling down for the winter in Smyrna, but residents and city officials were disputing the source of the pests.

The rats were plaguing the Afton Downs condominiums and Heritage Pointe, a 460-unit complex on Hargrove Road that was being foreclosed upon by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A resident near Afton Downs said that the rats originated from a city-maintained creek. Smyrna public works officials, however, said that Chateau Creek had been cleaned up several months ago.

The third twister to hit Cobb in several years was reported in the Monday, Nov. 23, 1992 paper after having swept through the western part of the county and hop-scotching eastward, flattening numerous homes and businesses while shearing off hundreds of trees. Damage was estimated to be in the millions.

The funnel cloud, created by the same storm system that spawned killer tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi, caused minor injuries to 34 people in the county and knocked out power to over 11,000 North Cobb residents.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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The Week of November 15th
by Damon_Poirier
November 15, 2012 08:00 AM | 1400 views | 1 1 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the death of a local Confederate veteran, the possibility of Glover Park being bulldozed for a parking garage and the sale of the Cobb County Recreation Center in Kennesaw to the Pinetree Country Club.

100 years ago …

On the front page of the Friday, Nov. 15, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier had a story about the death of Alex Gann, a Cobb County native born in 1846. Gann was just a boy when he entered the Civil War with Lee’s Battalion. He was later discharged with the cavalry at Macon. After the war, he returned to Cobb and settled in Smyrna.

Another front page story in that week’s edition reported that Ensign King Awtrey of Marietta had sent a telegram to his parents telling them that he had been transferred to the battleship Tennessee, which was sailing to the scene of war between the nations of Serbia and Turkey. The Tennessee was to protect Americans who lived in Turkey.

50 years ago …

The Cobb Advisory Board in the Monday, Nov. 12, 1962 MDJ was expected to meet and take up proposals to fireproof the courthouse. Marietta Fire Inspector Capt. Bartow Adair said that the courthouse needed a sprinkler system, a fire escape leading from the rear of the second floor to the ground and a changing of the doors so that they opened outward.

The City of Marietta in the Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1962 paper was reported as having the authority to implement a citizens’ committee recommendation that Glover Park in the Marietta Square be replaced with a two-level business and vehicle parking building.

City Clerk Al Bagley said a 1953 amendment to the city charter gave the mayor and council power to appoint a three-man Parking Authority. The 40-member Citizen’s Advisory Committee’s plan called for erecting a building with the lower level for lease to businesses and the upper level for parking of cars on the entire block that was occupied by the public park.

Those plans were obviously not put into motion, since Glover Park is still standing today.

In the Friday, Nov. 16, 1962 paper, a group of Atlanta investors bought the 600-acre Cobb County Recreation Center near Kennesaw for nearly $1.4 million. Plans were to convert it into a private country club of about 1,000 members by 1963. Jesse Draper, president of Pinetree Corp., said that a $250,000 clubhouse would be built along with tennis courts.

The Rec Center – which included an 18-hole golf course and a swimming pool – was being sold because it had been operating in the red since opening in June 1960.

20 years ago …

Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard said in the Tuesday, Nov. 10, 1992 MDJ that he would make term limits for state legislators and top state officials the cornerstone of his legislative package for 1993, but he backpedaled on an earlier proposal to also mandate term limits for Georgia congressmen. Howard’s comments were made during the state Chamber of Commerce’s Pre-Legislature Forum and drew support from several Cobb legislators.

Also, that day, the Cobb commissioners were reported as set to begin searching through dusty files that once belonged to the late Ernest Barrett for potentially sensitive information on people still working for the county. Barrett, who was the commission chairman from 1965-1984, died a few months after he left office.

After his death, his secretary dated the cardboard boxes of papers for destruction in 1992. Instead of destroying the papers, the county sent them to Kennesaw State College’s history department to be kept in a rare-books room for students to research the important time period of extreme rapid growth in both population and economic development in Cobb.

However, when the commission learned that the boxes contained personnel files, original property records and sealed envelopes, they were quickly taken back to the county clerk’s office.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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Carol Poirier
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January 13, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Damon's articles on the MDJ Time Capsule. Keep up the good work! - Carol

The Week of November 8th
by Damon_Poirier
November 07, 2012 10:20 AM | 1377 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the election of a president, the nuclear fallout protection of a local school and a large moonshine raid.

100 years ago …

The front page of the Friday, Nov. 8, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier had a large story about Woodrow Wilson being elected the 28th President of the United States. Wilson carried about 40 states, while former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt (26th) carried only five states and William Howard Taft (27th) carried three states.

There was also a half-page ad on the front of that week’s paper from the Chamber of Commerce announcing that it had taken on new life with new officers and wanted a new and up-to-date Marietta. The ad also extended a welcome to women who wanted to be a part of the organization.

50 years ago …

On the heels of the Cuban missile crisis, South Cobb High School Principal Robert Lee, Austell area Civil Defense director Lewis Chestnut and Lt. Col. Truman Gray, an English teacher, were reported in the Sunday, Nov. 4, 1962 MDJ as having initiated plans for providing fallout protection for students in case of nuclear disaster.

The school building, which had previously been found to only have 20-percent protection against radiation, was thought that it could be made 100-percent safe by sandbagging windows and doorways. Areas designated for the sandbag reinforcement included the band area, boiler room and an area of hallway in the central part of the school. Lee said that the county had agreed to provide 600 filled sandbags for the project.

Also that day, lawmen reportedly raided a home in Mableton which they suspected was the center of a giant moonshine operation. Officers arrested three people, confiscated four vehicles and seized 612 gallons of non-tax-paid whiskey.

Federal, state and Cobb County sheriff’s officers had watched the home for more than a week before moving in with the raid. Sheriff Kermit Sanders also said that it was the largest moonshine business found in the area in several years.

In the Monday, Nov. 5, 1962 paper, approximately 450 cartons of cigarettes, identified as part of the $11,000 cigarette burglary at Marietta’s Veach Grocery Company in August, was found by Cobb and Cherokee County officers in a home near Woodstock.

A total of 4,200 cartons of cigarettes, mentioned in a previous column, had been stolen from Veach and part of that haul had been dumped in a pine thicket in Woodstock. Officers found about 150 cartons hidden in a room within the home and another 300 cartons inside a dry abandoned well in the backyard.

Some 300 people were also reported that day as having purchased tickets for the evening’s Democratic “loyalty dinner” in Marietta. The dinner was being held to draw further attention to candidates who had Republican opposition in the upcoming general election. Gov. Ernest Vandiver, the main speaker, and Governor – nominee Carl Sanders were expected to lambast the Republican Party at Larry Bell Auditorium.

The Marietta School Board was reported in the Friday, Nov. 9, 1962 paper as having expressed dissatisfaction the night before in a long-standing agreement which allowed all black high school students in Cobb County to attend the city’s Lemon Street High School. Board members, citing severe overcrowdedness at the school, called for negotiations with Cobb County School Superintendent Jasper Griffin for possible sharp “revision” to the agreement.

20 years ago …

The Galleria Centre, Cobb’s convention center under construction at the Galleria Specialty Mall, was reported in the Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1992 MDJ as being a year away from completion but had already booked its first event. The Cobb Chamber of Commerce announced that the National Sheriffs’ Association, based in Alexandria, Va., would hold its national convention there in June 1997.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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