The Week of Dec. 12
by Damon_Poirier
 MDJ Time Capsule
December 11, 2013 04:50 PM | 1507 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at a Confederate veteran, an Atherton’s victim, Studebakers, SPSU dorms, a walkway at Cumberland mall and Lester Maddox.

100 years ago …

In Friday, Dec. 12, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the front page reported that E.P. Dobbs had been elected Mayor for the next two years during the primary election. Dobbs beat his opponent Joe M. Austin by 126 votes.

Also that week it was reported that after only a week of illness, Rev. Elam Christian died the Tuesday before. Rev. Christian had been in delicate health for years after being seriously wounded in the first volley fired at the first battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861 at the age of 19. After Manassas, he became a drill master of Southern troops at Kennesaw and was there when Northern soldiers stole the “General” and ran away with a W&A freight train. He was a local Methodist minister, but not a member of a conference, and the editor of various papers in cities and towns in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.

50 years ago …

In the Friday, Dec. 6, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that Seventh District Congressman John Davis called for an end to regional differences in the country and said the surest way to accomplish that goal was to “wipe out hatred and misunderstanding.” Davis spoke to more than 1,000 Cobb County and Marietta high school seniors in a Citizenship Day Program at the Larry Bell Center in a program sponsored by the county’s four Civitan clubs. Davis credited late President Franklin D. Roosevelt with being the man who “woke up and discovered the forgotten man in our nation is the South.”

Mayor-Elect Howard Atherton and members of Marietta’s new city council were reported in the Sunday, Dec. 8, 1963 paper as agreeing to sidetrack the controversial Kennesaw Avenue and Powder Springs Street links in an effort to salvage a proposed multi-lane highway loop around the city. Atherton said he had been informed by state highway officials that the city was on the verge of losing the entire $10 million highway connector program as a result of protests.

Charles E. Scott of Powder Springs, the brave 78-year-old man with a “very strong constitution,” was reported in the Monday, Dec. 9, 1963 paper as leaving Kennestone Hospital after five weeks of hospitalization following the Halloween explosion at Atherton’s Drugstore. Scott was in the front of the building at the time of the blast and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

In the Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1963 paper, it was reported that the news of Studebaker closing down its U.S. Automotive production lines was no disappointment to the Marietta dealership of Burnett-Teague Motors. Officials at the Marietta firm said the demand for the cars had become almost nil and indicated the company had planned to discontinue their sales anyway.

The State Board of Regents were reported in the Thursday, Dec. 12, 1963 paper as having approved another dormitory project at Southern Tech, which is now known as Southern Polytechnic State University and currently slated to be merged with Kennesaw State University. The dormitory, which cost about $1 million dollars, was to house 180 students and the campus dining hall.

20 years ago …

In the Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that a 37-year-old Mableton man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the March slaying of a female friend who begged him to kill her because she thought that she was dying of AIDS. An autopsy after the woman’s death later showed that she did not have the disease. The charges, originally malice murder and felony murder, were dropped to voluntary manslaughter in return for the man’s guilty plea.

A pedestrian walkway was reported in the Thursday, Dec. 9, 1993 paper as being built across Cobb Parkway (U.S. Hwy. 41) between the Galleria Specialty and Cumberland malls, near to where the new Atlanta Braves stadium is to be built in the county. Cobb Community Improvement District and state Department of Transportation officials pledged up to $750,000 each for a walkway over the busy eight-lane highway. The final cost was expected at about $1.5 million. The walkway came about after a 15-year-old Wheeler High School student was killed while she was trying to cross Cobb Parkway from the Cumberland Mall parking lot with a friend.

Standing before a mock grave in front of his northeast Cobb home, former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox was reported in the Saturday, Dec. 11, 1993 paper as paying his last respects to the nation’s healthcare system. Maddox said lives were threatened if President Bill Clinton pushed his plans for a national healthcare system through Congress. So he dug a grave – which was surrounded by a six-foot fence topped with barbed wire – and lowered a flag-draped casket into it to eulogize the nation’s current healthcare system and alert others to the dangers of the presidential proposal.

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

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


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