MDJ Time Capsule by Damon_Poirier
This week’s Time Capsule looks at the death of a President’s wife, integration and a restaurant fire.
August 16, 2014 04:00 AM | 65863 views | 0 0 comments | 2332 2332 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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The Week of December 13th
by Damon_Poirier
December 12, 2012 09:59 AM | 1258 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 | 1779 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 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 | 2176 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 | 1692 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 | 1517 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 | 1369 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 | 1347 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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The Week of November 1st
by Damon_Poirier
November 01, 2012 10:30 AM | 1440 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at a Marietta mayor’s pay, a “safe-cracker” called in by the tax commissioner’s office, the dedication of Marietta High School’s new wing and a music student’s discovery that changed how a famous composer’s symphony was played forever.

100 years ago…

On the front page of the Friday, Nov. 1, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier, there was an interesting strip of text just under the masthead that read:

“Next Tuesday, Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, a true Southerner, a former Georgian, will be elected President of the United States by the most overwhelming majority ever given a candidate for the Presidency in the history of the Republic. Be sure your vote is recorded for this great American.”

Beneath the strip there was a story that talked about two Wilson rallies set for the next evening where a message from Gov. Wilson would be read and speeches would be made by various well-known citizens.

There was also a front page story about the death of attorney Robert Norris Holland, 52, who served two terms as Mayor of Marietta and two terms in the Georgia Legislature.

Another story announced that Cobb County once again won the first prize for the best agricultural exhibit at the Georgia State Fair. The award was announced from the front of the Agricultural Hall and thousands cheered for Mr. and Mrs. J. Gid Morris of Smyrna, who for several years had had the prize exhibit of the fair.

50 years ago…

The Georgia Supreme Court said that Marietta Mayor Sam Welsch could start collecting his salary again in the Wednesday, Oct. 31, 1962 paper. The high court reached the decision in a split 5-2 vote and held that a “taxpayer’s suit,” which sought a permanent injunction cutting off all the mayor’s income should have been thrown out by a lower court.

At issue was the validity of a city council resolution passed the previous February which hiked the mayor’s pay from $3,600 to $11,000 a year and made it retroactive for two years.

Red-faced officials at the tax commissioner’s office were reported as having to call a professional “safe-cracker” in the Friday, Nov. 2, 1962 paper when the combination dial lock on their 50-year old stand up safe refused to open.

Also that day, there was a story about a presentation to county officials about long-range plans for a rapid transit system of electric rail that would begin in Cobb in the early 1970s. Plans called for the rapid transit system, funneling into the heart of Atlanta from Cobb and other counties using a system of underground subways.

20 years ago…

The dedication of Marietta High School’s new wing, which was attached to the rest by a skywalk across Polk Street, was in the Monday, Oct. 26, 1992 MDJ. The three-level structure included a new two-court gymnasium, 12 classrooms and large rooms for the band and choral groups.

Kennestone Hospital was asking a Cobb judge in the Wednesday, Oct. 28, 1992 paper to order state health officials to give the hospital a certificate of need to allow the practice of open-heart surgery.

In the Sunday, Nov. 1, 1992 paper, there was a story about a music student from Mableton who made a discovery that changed forever the way a famous 180-year old symphony was performed. Baroque composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote the Italian Symphony, a favorite of symphony orchestras, during a trip to Italy in 1834. But, the piece was not published until after his death by the heirs to his estate.

A century and a half later, Duke University music student Michael Cooper, who graduated from South Cobb High in 1980, found the mistake the Mendelssohn family made. Presented to the public was a version of the symphony, originally called Symphony in A Major, which was later revised by the composer. The revision, however, had been thought to be only an early draft until Cooper discovered that it was actually the composer’s attempt to rework the music.

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 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis
by Damon_Poirier
October 26, 2012 08:00 AM | 2304 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Five decades ago, the world watched a showdown between President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev during the height of the Cold War in what many feared might spark nuclear Armageddon.

The 13-day long affair came about after American spy planes discovered the Cuban and Soviet governments had been secretly building bases on Cuba for nuclear missiles with the ability to strike much of the continental U.S.

President Kennedy set up a military blockade of the island nation, announced that the U.S. would not permit the Soviets to deliver anymore weapons and ordered the removal of those all ready in place. Premier Khrushchev, however, balked at the demands.

In this extra appearance of Time Capsule, we take a day by day look at the local crisis-related coverage as the tensions between the two nations grew.

Tuesday, Oct. 23 …

The possibility that some Naval Reservists and Air National Guardsmen might be called to active duty was reported. But, spokesmen for both the Naval Air Station and the Air Reserve Dixie Wing said no local units had been alerted.

Civil Defense officials said that there was a mild spurt of interest in fallout shelter construction and evacuation procedures.

Howard Atherton, chairman of the Marietta City Council Civil Defense Committee, advised citizens to acquaint themselves with the dangers of nuclear fallout and how to safeguard against it. Literature on fallout shelters and other civil defense procedures were being made available to the public at the reception desk of the Marietta Police Department.

Wednesday, Oct. 24 …

CD offices reported many calls from residents inquiring about shelter facilities and what would be done with their children at school in an emergency.

Another story reported that there was no plan for mass evacuation of Cobb County in the event of an enemy attack alert. Probable use of missiles instead of manned bombers meant that the population would have very little advance warning if the enemy attacked.

Cobb CD Chief Norman Shipley was quoted as saying that the best plan for residents was to seek shelter in their homes and find the best spot to avoid radiation.

Thursday, Oct. 25 …

Seventh District Rep. John W. Davis said government briefs told him there was evidence that Cuba had not stopped building launching sites for medium-range missiles despite President Kennedy’s warning.

The congressman was one of many from nine southern states who attended a secret briefing in Atlanta. The briefing was conducted by Assistant Secretary of State Fred Dutton and Assistant Secretary of Defense David E. McGiffert.

At 9:20 a.m. that morning, an Air Force C137 jet landed at Dobbins Air Force Base and deposited Georgia Democrats Sen. Richard B. Russell and Rep. Carl Vinson back from crisis briefings in Washington. Both men reportedly left the base hurriedly.

Directors of the county’s five civil defense organizations were expected to meet that evening in order to plan for closer cooperation in light of the crisis.

Section chiefs of the Cobb County CD unit were reported to have met the night before to review their emergency plan. The session was held at the request of Adjutant General George Hearn, head of the state civil defense.

Friday, Oct. 26 …

Sandbagging operations began on a special emergency headquarters for the city of Marietta and Cobb County CD organizations. The location was in the underground basement of the Marietta city fire station at 500 Haynes Street. An extra telephone cable was laid giving it three telephone outlets. Three remote control radio positions were also to be added.

A full page ad published by the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce shared information about constructing family fallout shelters and included a shelter checklist for food/cooking equipment, supplies/equipment for sanitation and general shelter equipment.

Sunday, Oct. 28 …

A recommendation that a big underground water reservoir, safe from nuclear fallout and constructed inside Cobb, was put to the Cobb-Marietta Water Authority. The proposal asked if the tank could be built in conjunction with the new water purification plant that was being planned on Lake Allatoona.

Monday, Oct. 29 …

The 445th Troop Carrier Wing, with headquarters at Dobbins Air Force Base, was busy trying to get squared away after a call to active duty the day before. Many were asking whether the call would be canceled due to peaceful developments in the crisis, but spokesmen said there were no indications that the call-up would be canceled.

The Cobb CD council began recruiting block wardens – like the helmeted, flashlight carrying wardens of World War II. A spokesman said the wardens would be provided with CD information in an emergency and be responsible for disseminating that information within their districts.

A poll by the MDJ of several county residents on Russia’s backing down in the crisis said that they felt the crisis was not over.

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 October 25th
by Damon_Poirier
October 24, 2012 08:00 AM | 1558 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at a Fire Chief injured in a South Cobb blaze, an “error” during a World Series Braves game and a protest against the speech of a Holocaust theorist.

100 years ago …

There were a pair of large ads on the front page of the Friday, Oct. 25, 1912 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier. The first announced a Baby Show at the Princess Theatre that was happening that day. First prize for either a boy or a girl was $10 in gold and the second prize was a solid gold necklace for a girl or a sterling silver, gold-lined drinking cup for a boy. The other ad announced the Civic League’s Halloween Carnival on Oct. 31 at the Kennesaw House.

There was also a front page story that week about Allen, Coggins and Heard, Funeral Directors – a new funeral home business that was being organized in Marietta. The parlors were located in the Austin building at the corner of Powders Springs and Anderson streets.

50 years ago …

Weeks after the Sept. 12 Democratic primary, Marietta attorney Bob Flournoy was confirmed as the nominee for Cobb’s bracket three state representative post in the Sunday, Oct. 21, 1962 MDJ. The recount committee declared Flournoy the winner by 120 votes over Lockheed engineer Ed Harris.

Also that day, there was a story about how Blair Aluminum Furniture Company, which began making three pieces of aluminum office furniture in 1945, swiftly changed hands. Joel H. Golden, vice president of the Metalstand Co. of Phildelphia came to visit L.M. “Rip” Blair in his office. Within an hour they had agreed to a selling price of close to a quarter of a million dollars.

In the Thursday, Oct. 25, 1962 paper, South Cobb Fire District Chief James Dunn was reported as being injured after having tumbled down a flight of stairs while fighting a fire at a home being built at Hurt and Austell roads. Chief Dunn suffered cuts and bruises after he slipped on the burnt attic steps and fell to the ground floor amongst hot timbers and other debris.

A federal agency was reported as having given the Cobb-Marietta Water Authority the go-ahead to construct a million-dollar water purification plant on Lake Allatoona in the Friday, Oct. 26, 1962 paper. The proposed plant was to be built in stages. After construction of the first stage, which would have an eight million gallon capacity, additional stages would be added until a maximum of 24 million gallons per day output was achieved.

20 years ago …

In the Tuesday, Oct. 20, 1992 MDJ, some Marines from Naval Air Station-Atlanta got caught in the middle of an unintentional flag flap before the second World Series game between the Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays – the first team from outside the U.S. to play in baseball’s championship series.

The Marines from Marine Air Group 42 at NAS-Atlanta in Marietta were a seven-man color guard that carried the Canadian flag upside down onto the field at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Braves officials who gave the Marines the flag acknowledged the error in the second inning and issued an apology to the people of Canada and baseball fans.

It was reported that more than 25 protestors disrupted Holocaust theorist David Irving’s speech at the Smyrna Community Center which was sponsored by the Atlanta organization known as the Committee for Historical Review in the Wednesday, Oct. 21, 1992 paper.

Irving, a British author and lecturer, spoke to about 75 people at the event. He proposed that the Holocaust was not systematic genocide directed by Adolf Hitler and that gas chambers probably didn’t exist. Irving, who had been banned from entering several countries – including Canada – was protested inside and outside the community center by demonstrators.

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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