This week’s Time Capsule looks at a dynamited house, lunch counter sit-ins, the death of a popular Marietta mayor and wing cracks in Lockheed C-141 StarLifters.100 years ago …
In the Friday, May 23, 1913 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier reported that a tenant house on the Powder Springs Road farm of James T. Anderson was blown up with dynamite. One room was completely demolished and houses near the farm were shaken badly. The seven black residents were in another part of the home when the charge blew up underneath the unoccupied room. A reward was set up by Gov. Joseph M. Brown and Anderson for the capture of the guilty party.50 years ago …
A county official was reported in the Friday, May 17, 1963 MDJ as saying that quantities of fish in “two or three” private lakes near Dobbins Air Force Base had died the previous summer after the area was sprayed with a chemical designed to kill beetles. The incident did not become public at the time it happened, but came to light after President John F. Kennedy ordered prompt government action earlier in the week to cut down health hazards caused by the misuse of pesticides.
Another story that day reported an attempt to desegregate several lunch counters in downtown Marietta. The effort was made by members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The sit-ins were staged in Dunaway Drug Store on the Square, Atherton’s Drug Co. on Whitlock Avenue and McLellan’s store at 56 South Park Square shortly after noon. A black couple sat at the lunch counters of McLellan’s and Atherton’s Drug Co., while two black teens sat at the Dunaway Drug Store lunch counter. In all three sit-ins, the participants were not served and left the locations after 10 minutes.
In the Monday, May 20, 1963 paper it was reported that a 34-year-old former special deputy sheriff was shot to death near Marietta over the weekend. Investigators said the deputy was shot once in the leg, once in the right side and twice in the back by a .22-caliber rifle. The deputy’s 14-year-old stepson was being held for the murder.
Marietta police officers were reported in the Tuesday, May 21, 1963 paper as flagging down a south-bound train at the Goss Street rail crossing to keep it from hitting a tractor-trailer rig that was hung up on the tracks. Officers saw the train coming just as they arrived on the scene, flagged the train to a stop and then removed the truck with a wrecker.
Smyrna Police Chief Robert L. Drake said in the Thursday, May 23, 1963 paper that he was on the trail of a wire cutter wielding vandal who had extensively damaged newly-erected fences around two ball fields and a swimming pool at Jonquil Park. The vandal had cut the top strand of barbed wire around the top of the pool fence and cut both a man-sized hole and several smaller ones in the ball field fences.20 years ago …
Children at Tritt Elementary School in east Cobb were reported in the Monday, May 17, 1993 MDJ as launching a crusade to preserve a stand of 30 to 120 year old white oak trees set to be cut down at a proposed subdivision development on Shallowford Road. Two third graders met with Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne asking the county commission to save the trees. The site plan for the subdivision called for the oaks to be cut down for tennis courts and other amenities to be built.
In the Tuesday, May 18, 1993 paper it was reported that Marietta Mayor Joe Mack Wilson, a champion for the little people who dominated Cobb County politics for decades, died at his home of natural causes at age 73. Wilson, a retired jeweler and clockmaker, was elected mayor in 1989 after a 27-year career in the state Legislature. Reaction to Wilson’s death ranged from shock to grief by friends and foes alike that talked about his accomplishments and both the money and clout that he brought to Marietta and Cobb County.
Another story that day reported the Air Force ignored warnings several months earlier about cracks in the wings of C-141 cargo planes, according to a Lockheed Aeronautics Systems Co. official, who disputed a report that inspectors had recently found the cracks. Gen. Ronald Fogleman, chief of the Air Mobility Command, ordered a 74 percent load limit on 260 Air Force StarLifters built at Lockheed’s South Cobb Drive assembly plant in the 1980s. Gen. Fogleman said concerns surfaced after Air Force inspectors tearing down a C-141 at the plant found more extensive evidence of wing cracks than previously estimated.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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