MDJ Time Capsule by Damon_Poirier
This week’s Time Capsule looks at flooding, bomb threats, a movie deal, a blow torch assault and Fred Tokars.
April 12, 2014 07:30 AM | 45044 views | 0 0 comments | 1781 1781 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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The Week of Nov. 7th
by Damon_Poirier
November 07, 2013 01:20 PM | 455 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at cattle, cotton, carbon monoxide and a cougar.

100 years ago …

In Friday, Nov. 7, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the front page reported that locals won several prizes on cattle at the State Fair. Bob Northcutt won seven first places on Dairy Cattle and J.T. Anderson won seven first places on Herefords.

Also that week was a story stating that J.L. Stephens, the cotton census enumerator for Cobb County, reported officially that the cotton ginned in the county as of Oct. 18 was 9,893 bales compared to the 4,588 bales for the same time in 1912. Another cotton record listed was that three bales of cotton were raised by W.H. Collier on one acre of land four miles north of Acworth. On an adjoining farm, W.S. Collier raised five bales on two acres.

Another story that week reported that Polk Street resident W.J. Pearce found a dozen, small, firm, white clear seed peaches growing on three trees in his back yard.

50 years ago …

In the Monday, Nov. 4, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal it was reported that two Mableton sandwich catering service owners were found dead in their shop from carbon monoxide poisoning. Cobb deputies said fumes from a circulating heater apparently killed the men. The men were working on plumbing in the building and had set up what appeared to be temporary living quarters at the back of the shop.

Also that day, former Mayor George Kreeger scored a political comeback with a 119-vote victory over Fourth Ward City Councilman Harold Smith in Smyrna’s biennial city election. Kreeger, who had the support of Incumbent Mayor J.B. “Jake” Ables, polled 1,046 votes while Smith drew 927.

The Cobb Advisory Board was reported in the Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1963 paper as having voted to sign a one-year lease with International Business Machines (IBM) for automatic data processing equipment to be used in the transaction of county affairs.

The crash of a single-engine, light plane was reported in the Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1963 paper as having killed a Virginia Beach, Va., man, his wife and their unborn child on Brown Road near Powder Springs. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Agency said the family took off from Fulton County Airport bound for New Orleans in foggy weather with zero visibility.

The Marietta Junior Welfare League was reported in the Thursday, Nov. 7, 1963 paper as having launched a $100,000 fund drive to purchase land and construct a Cobb County Youth Museum. League Publicity Chairman Mrs. Luther Fortson said that members had pledged for than $20,000 and the remaining $80,000 would be sought in public contributions.

20 years ago …

In the Thursday, Nov. 4, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that a Marietta man frustrated with being rejected twice in his attempts to be a police officer, decided to take the law in his own hands. The man, a part-time landscaper, stole a police radar gun, a pair of blue Fulton County Police fatigues and a ticket book from the police car of a Fulton officer who lived in northeast Cobb. The man, clad in a partial uniform, began using the radar gun to stop motorists in Cobb, Cherokee and Fulton counties before being arrested.

A Cobb County woman was reported in the Friday, Nov. 5, 1993 paper as being cited in October for illegally owning a three-month-old cougar – which was classified as an endangered species. The woman, who brought the cougar to Cobb from South Carolina, was believed to have endangered a 15-year-old family friend that was bitten by the animal on Oct. 22.

Forced out by the state Board of Regents, U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich of east Cobb was reported in the Saturday, Nov. 6, 1993 paper as moving his controversial “Renewing American Civilization” course from Kennesaw State College to Reinhardt College, a private institution in Waleska. The House minority whip decided to switch schools after the George Board of Regents said that a full-time public office-holder could not teach in the state university system.

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 Atherton's Drug Store Explosion
by Damon_Poirier
October 31, 2013 10:00 AM | 818 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Fifty years ago, Thursday, Oct. 31, 1963, the City of Marietta suffered one of its greatest tragedies – a gas explosion that ripped through the front portion of the Atherton Drug Store on the Marietta Square, killing seven people and injuring over 20 others. At the time of the explosion, Halloween festivities were in full swing with a Y.M.C.A-sponsored parade and a window painting contest on the Square.

A full story about the anniversary of the 1963 tragedy, written by Rachel Gray, can be viewed here. The column below looks at the day by day coverage of events relating to the tragedy.

Sunday, Nov. 3, 1963

Two men – Charles E. Scott, 78, and J.B. Lamer, 22, - remained in critical condition in Kennestone Hospital.

Marietta Mayor Sam Welsch ordered the flags in the park, City Hall and the Marietta Post Office be flown at half-mast throughout the weekend. A drive-in on the Four Lane (U.S. Hwy. 41) also lowered its flag.

Investigators continued searching for the cause of the blast. Capt. Bartow Adair, head of the Fire Prevention Bureau and Fire Inspector, was quoted as saying that it was a low order explosion, which pushes rather than shatters, and could have occurred from many substances – including natural gas. Adair also said some witnesses had testified that they had smelled gas in and around the building beforehand.

The Marietta Fire Department was also reported looking for the person who answered the phone at the drug store immediately after the blast. Three soda fountain girls were said to have heard the phone ring in the pay booth at the end of the counter just before the explosion.

Gene Nesbitt, the merchandise manager at Atherton’s, had placed the call and said someone answered saying, “We’ve just had an explosion.” Adair said whoever stepped into the booth to answer the phone was in the area of the worst destruction and that Nesbitt’s call had saved their life.

Marietta mayor-elect Howard Atherton Jr. was quoted as saying a new drug store would be built on the explosion site. Atherton said plans called for a one-story brick structure with more floor space than before and office space on a mezzanine. Construction of the new store would begin once the insurance companies could determine the amount of damage to the store and the structure was torn down.

Monday, Nov. 4, 1963

Investigators continued to question witnesses about the explosion. Adair was quoted as saying that nothing new had developed in the case and the cause of the blast was still unknown.

Scott and Lamer were still in critical condition at Kennestone Hospital, while policemen W.R. Raines, Wyndall Black and George Kelly, who were injured in the blast, were listed as in good condition. Capt. H.P. Craft also entered the hospital with a back ailment caused by rescue operations during the disaster.

Sightseers from all over Georgia came by to see the shell of the ruined store. Police said at one time that cars were lined up from the light at the railroad crossing on Powder Springs Street all the way across the Marietta Square.

Special prayers for the dead and injured were offered in all of Marietta’s churches. At St. James Episcopal Church, it was noted that more than 60 people took Holy Communion on Sunday night compared to the usual 25 in attendance.

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1963

Investigators were drawing closer to the end of their inquiries and said that the possible cause of the blast was natural gas. Tuesday’s operations consisted of boring holes in the sidewalk next to the store, testing cracks in the basement and searching the front of the building for evidence of gas leaks.

Witnesses were still being questioned and the Marietta Fire Department had not yet discovered who answered the phone that rang just before the explosion.

Scott and Lamer remained in critical condition at Kennestone Hospital. Raines, Black and Kelly along with teenager Jimmy Smith were listed as in good condition. The three policemen were talking with Smith at the front of the store at the time of the blast. Another injured man, Fred Grant was transferred to Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta.

Howard Atherton Jr. was quoted as saying that the business office of the drug store would be set up in the old Western Union office on Powder Springs Street next to the First National Bank.

Approximately 3,000 long distance calls were handled by Southern Bell Telephone Company during the “peak” hours of the tragedy. The phone company also took 1,400 calls for information and 600 “assistance” calls. District Manager J.E. Breedlove said the total 3,000 calls did not include local calls, which were not counted due to the automated system. But, Breedlove said it was triple the number of calls they ordinarily carried between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Normally, 15-20 women manned the switchboards during those hours, but that night 60 operators were on duty. Breedlove said that he didn’t have to call a single person in because they all heard about the blast and started streaming into the office on their own.

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1963

A 30-foot length of gas line along the front of the store had been exposed and an inch-by-inch examination of the line was being made. Marietta Fire Chief Howard Schaffer said they uncovered several lateral holes running from the line to the basement wall of the building, made by old roots, which could have made it possible for gas to penetrate a point near the building.

Scott and Lamer continued to remain in critical condition at Kennestone.

Thursday, Nov. 7, 1963

Scott and Lamer showed slight improvement and all of the other injured were listed in good condition, according to a hospital spokesman.

High winds caused concern at the blast site because the wide open front allowed the wind to sweep inward and put pressure on the weakened walls. Despite the hazard, investigators spooned out particles of roots believed to have caused the leakage in the gas pipe. Also found was what resembled a large railroad tie with an old, square, rusted iron nail in it. Samples of wood and dirt were taken for laboratory testing.

Friday, Nov. 8, 1963

Scott and Lamer continued to remain in critical condition at the hospital.

Gas mains around the drug store were sealed off to further test the cause of the explosion. Valves were installed and gas pressure was taken off the lines around the wrecked building. Temporary service lines were run to the buildings around the drug store location.

Schaffer said excavation was discontinued because the vibrations caused by the air hammers used to tear up the sidewalks threatened to collapse the weakened store walls. Further excavation would continue after merchandise and fixtures were taken from the building and a wrecking crew demolished the walls.

Dr. Howard Jones, head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation team, sent an official letter of commendation to Mayor Welsch praising Schaffer and his staff, the city police, City Engineer C.C. Davis and his staff, the Marietta Civil Defense workers, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Webster A. Sherrer – the state medical examiner for Cobb County, and Atlanta Gas Light Company for their help in the investigation.

Sunday, Nov. 10, 1963

Schaffer confirmed discovery of a gas leak in the main running in front of the ruins of the drug store. In a preliminary report to the City Council, he said the leak was caused by “corrosive action” which permitted gas to escape at a rate of 10 cubic feet every 79 seconds. Schaffer also said that the investigation had revealed “spots as big as half-dollars, quarters and dimes showing corrosive action” in addition to the point of the leak.

Scott remained in critical condition at Kennestone. Lamer, however, was downgraded to fair condition. Smith was scheduled to have his leg amputated by surgeons.

Monday, Nov. 11, 1963

Scott remained in critical condition for the 12th day, while Lamer was listed in satisfactory condition.

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1963

Tentative plans called for the wrecking operation of the shell of the drug store. Davis said that the building would probably be dismantled instead of pulled down, which would take about three weeks.

Scott, who had been critical for two weeks, improved enough for the hospital to list him as in fair condition.

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1963

A contract with the Continental Wrecking Corporation of Atlanta was signed to dismantle the drug store at a cost of about $6,000. R.H. Isley, superintendent of the wrecking company crew, said it would take three to four weeks to complete.

G.B. Lee, the office supervisor of the Marietta branch of the Atlanta Gas Light Company, said the company had begun its annual check of pipes in Marietta and the Cobb County area. The survey was expected to take two to three weeks to complete.

Scott slipped back onto the critical list, but Lamer, Smith, Raines and Black were all listed in good condition at the hospital.

Thursday, Nov. 14, 1963

Raines was released from the hospital, while Scott remained in critical condition after only one day off the list since the explosion.

The “mystery phone call answerer” still had not been found and the investigation now indicated that both the phones of the prescription side and in the pay booth had rung and were answered.

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The Week of Oct. 31st
by Damon_Poirier
October 28, 2013 10:50 AM | 449 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at a pony contest, poisoned dogs, tax collections, a new courthouse and a television pilot.

100 years ago …

In Friday, Oct. 31, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the front page reported a contest amongst Marietta merchants through Jan. 28, 1914 to give away a Shetland Pony. The contest, sponsored by the Marietta Journal, The Gem and Princess Theatres, W.A. Florence, Myrtice Allgood, Z.T. Gann and T.W. Read, would allow children under 16 to receive a vote coupon with every purchase or payment on an account. At the end of the contest, the child with the largest number of votes would win the pony.

50 years ago …

The Sheriff’s Office reported in the Friday, Oct. 25, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal that they had received several calls of dogs being poisoned with tainted meat thrown or placed within yards in the LaBelle Park, Jones-Shaw Road area.

A mother and her infant son were reported hospitalized in the Sunday, Oct. 27, 1963 paper after suffering burns in a string of blasts that shook their Fair Oaks home the Friday before. Fire department officials and police believed the explosions were caused by a broken gas line after a newly installed sewer pipe was put in with a ditch digging machine.

In the Monday, Oct. 28, 1963 paper, it was reported that a 19-year-old black burglary suspect was shot twice by an officer inside the Cherokee Grocery on Cherokee Street. The shots hit the man under the right eye and in the back, but he was listed at Kennestone Hospital as in good condition. The patrolling officers had found the door to the grocery partly opened and entered the store. As they were about to leave, the suspect stood up from behind a counter and pointed a pistol at them, which lead to a gunfire exchange.

The Cobb Tax Commissioner was reported in the Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1963 paper as having 30 working days to collect over $5 million. At that rate, the office would have to collect $185,000 each day. All county taxes were to be paid by Dec. 20, 1963, but due to a tax equalization program and a court injunction against the tax process, collections were delayed until Thursday, Oct. 24. Since collections began, the tax office had only taken in $28,000.

A writ of mandamus seeking to force the county to construct a new courthouse was reported in the Thursday, Oct. 31, 1963 paper as having been dismissed by Cobb Superior Court Judge James Manning. County Attorney Raymond Reed, in presenting a general demurrer for dismissal, argued that the question was not for the court to decide. He also pointed out that the county had vetoed the courthouse bond issue three times. He also said that county officials would have to raise the tax millage to meet the cost of a new courthouse building and that the tax hike was so high that the county decided it was out of the question.

20 years ago …

In the Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that four Cherokee County volunteer firefighters were facing charges of arson. The suspects were arrested and charged in three fires that occurred over the past two months involving an abandoned home and two vacant lots. Two of the firefighters confessed to setting the blazes. The case unraveled as fire officials began to piece together a string of suspicious fires in the North Canton district with one common thread – the same responding firefighters.

Cobb commissioners were reported in the Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1993 paper as having unanimously approved preliminary designs for an $8.1 million State Court Building that would help alleviate the overcrowding in Cobb’s judicial complex. The new 95,000-square foot building was to be located between the county’s two administrative buildings just east of the Marietta Square. The design was similar to existing judicial buildings with pedestrian plazas and walkways.

Just like recent filming on the Marietta Square, the Marietta City Council was reported in the Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1993 paper as having approved a pilot television episode to be filmed in a city neighborhood. ABC television had chosen Arden Drive in Ward 2 for “The Mommy Track,” a talk-show look at successful women with children. The episode was one of five segments of ABC’s upcoming pilot series, “American Streets,” which would examine aspects of American life from neighborhood settings around the country.

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 Oct. 24th
by Damon_Poirier
October 23, 2013 03:35 PM | 466 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at the death of Maj. Hiram Butler, Marietta Schools’ payroll, Kennesaw State College losing accreditation and theft of parts from the Big Chicken.

100 years ago …

In Friday, Oct. 24, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the front page reported the death of Maj. Hiram A. Butler, 81, of Kennesaw, who had been employed by the Western and Atlantic Railroad for nearly 60 years. Maj. Butler started his career as a water boy for the Noonday Fill near Marietta and later served as Roadmaster for nearly 50 years. When Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman approached Kennesaw, Maj. Butler and Martin H. Dooly were reported as having made up the last train composed of rolling stock. The pair had hoped to save the contents from Federal destruction by running the train to South Georgia, but Stoneman’s Raiders destroyed the property at Griswoldville on the Central Road.

50 years ago …

Six people were reported injured, one critically, in the Friday, Oct. 18, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as a fire swept through a frame house in Mableton. The family was asleep at the time of the fire. The homeowner, who awoke to discover the flames, pulled his grandchildren, son and a dog from the building before collapsing. His wife escaped the blaze by jumping out of their bedroom window. All three of the man’s grandchildren along with his son were taken to Kennestone Hospital with burns. A fireman with the responding South Cobb Fire Department also received an eye injury while fighting the fire.

In the Sunday, Oct. 20, 1963 paper, it was reported that Marietta Schools Superintendent Henry Kemp said the Board of Education did not have the money to meet its October payroll and called for a special session of the Marietta City Council to deal with the crisis. Later in the week, on Thursday, Oct. 24, it was reported that the Council voted in emergency session to borrow $50,000 for appropriation to the Board of Education. The action, taken at the request of Marietta Mayor Sam Welsch, temporarily eased a critical financial problem brought on by the failure of Congress to renew legislation authorizing federal aid to impacted areas.

In the Tuesday, Oct. 22, 1963 paper, it was reported that plans were being developed and construction was scheduled to begin on a luxury theatre in the new Cobb County Center. The theatre, operated by the Georgia Theatre Company, was to have a seating capacity for approximately 1,000 with rocking chair seats featuring upholstered arm rests that would be installed on a staggered floor plan. The Cobb Center Theatre was the fourth indoor-type motion picture house in operation in the county and was expected to be the largest.

Also that day, it was reported that Dr. W.C. Mitchell, chairman of the Cobb Board of Education, watched as construction crews broke ground on a new elementary school in Smyrna. The school, which was being erected at the end of Ward Street behind the Belmont Hills Shopping Center, was to house 1,200 students and would have 38 classrooms.

20 years ago …

Kennesaw State College’s (KSC) teacher education program was reported in the Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1993 paper as having lost its national accreditation following a two-year review that found overcrowded classrooms, too few faculty members and curriculum problems. The more than 2,300 students enrolled in teacher education courses at KSC were expected to be eligible to receive state teacher certificates by passing an exam upon completion of their courses of study. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission had given the college permission to continue to operate its teacher education programs through June 30, 1995, which was enough time for the college to reapply for national accreditation.

In the Wednesday, Oct. 20, 1993 paper, it was reported that Kentucky Fried Chicken was willing to forgive “fowl” play in the disappearance of some sections of the Big Chicken after thieves allegedly stole parts from the site. Ten days earlier, a construction crew working on the demolition of the Big Chicken reported that someone had stolen the black eyes and part of the yellow break from the metal bird. After hearing a radio report of the theft, a passerby who took the eyes as a souvenir from the 54-foot Marietta landmark contacted Marietta Police to return them. The bird’s bulky upper beak, which weighed more than 500 pounds, was reported as being found on Thursday, Oct. 21. A female caller reported to police that the beak had been dumped at the Rhodes Furniture store at U.S. 41 and Gresham Road. Demolition of the Big Chicken began after storm damage to the structure revealed that decades of bird droppings inside had corroded the landmark’s metal skeleton.

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 Oct. 17th
by Damon_Poirier
October 17, 2013 02:10 PM | 478 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at cotton, integration, a plane crash, a Ten Commandments lawsuit and the fate of Newt Gingrich’s conservative college course.

100 years ago …

In Friday, Oct. 17, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, it was reported that at an average of 13 cents a pound, with $8 to $10 a bale for cotton seed, Cobb County farmers were expecting about $75 per bale. With about 22,000 bales of cotton within the county, the price of local crop was expected to be $1,650,000. Marietta was also declared in the story as being the best cotton market in the state with buyers paying the highest price the market could afford.

50 years ago …

A delegation of white citizens were reported in the Friday, Oct. 11, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as having called on the Marietta Board of Education to resist integration with every possible legal means. The group identifying themselves as Citizens for Better Government Inc. presented petitions opposing integration signed by an estimated 1,000 Cobb citizens.

Another story that day reported that 52 of the 100 new low-rent public housing units for blacks in the Louisville Urban Renewal project had been filled and the remaining 48 were ready for occupation. The $1,187,000 project was designed to provide suitable housing for low-income families.

In the Sunday, Oct. 13, 1963 paper, it was reported that Marietta City Council had voted to settle a condemnation suit out of court so that work could begin turning Roswell Street into four lanes east of the Four-Lane Highway (U.S. Hwy. 41). The action was expected to cost the city $700 for purchase of the right of way and another $208 for removal of two utility poles located on the land.

Two Georgia men, one from Smyrna, were reported in the Monday, Oct. 14, 1963 paper as being injured after their light plane crashed through power lines and bounced into the side of a farmhouse near Town Creek, Ala. at 3:55 a.m. that day.

The first Marietta-built long-range C-130E global airlifter to join a Navy Squadron of Military Air Transport Service (MATS) was reported in the Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1963 paper. A total of 22 of the 77½-ton Lockheed Georgia transports were to be assigned to the Naval Air Transport Wing, Pacific.

Another story that day reported that burglars backed a small truck up to an unoccupied home in Smyrna and emptied out all of its furnishings. The items taken included a double oven, a surface unit and hood set, a dishwasher, a combination refrigerator and freezer unit, rugs and draperies, wall light fixtures, a fire place set and even the bathroom scales.

In the Thursday, Oct. 17, 1963 paper, it was reported that Scripto Inc., manufacturer of ballpoint pens, pencils and cigarette lighters, was moving from Atlanta to Cobb County as soon as its “dream plant” was completed. Cobb native James V. Carmichael, president of Scripto, made the announcement at the first annual Red Carpet Dinner of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and said Scripto would build a six-acre, one-story plant on 27 acres of land at Church Road and old U.S. 41.

Also that day it was reported that a pre-dawn blaze gutted the interior and extensively damaged the roof of the Big Shanty Restaurant on the North Four Lane in Kennesaw.

20 years ago …

In the Monday, Oct. 11, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that the Anti-Defamation League of B’nal B’rith had added ammunition to the federal court battle over whether a Ten Commandments plaque should be removed from the Cobb State Court building by filing arguments in favor of the removal. Cobb was fighting to keep the document on the lobby wall of the State Court’s first floor.

As U.S. troops were set to arrive in Haiti to help restore democracy, U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Perry, was quoted in the Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1993 paper as saying that the United States must “avoid being spread too thin throughout the world.” Sen. Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also said at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s First Monday Breakfast that the collapse of communism and an end to the Cold War had contributed to the resurfacing of “repressed ethnic and religious warfare” and a variety of other conflicts around the world.

Also that day, Vinings-based Home Depot confirmed that it was looking for a site to build a corporate headquarters in the metro Atlanta area, but said its search had nothing to do with the Cobb County Commission’s anti-gay resolution.

In the Thursday, Oct. 14, 1993 paper, it was reported that the conservative “Renewing American Society” course at Kennesaw State College taught by U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-east Cobb, might be shut down after its maiden run. The Georgia Board of Regents unanimously adopted a policy that prohibited elected officials from teaching at state colleges and universities.

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 Oct. 10
by Damon_Poirier
October 04, 2013 12:50 PM | 536 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at a horse trader’s wild ride, Lockheed news, Cobb’s junior college, Marietta elections, rabies and a vandalism spree.

100 years ago …

In Friday, Oct. 10, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the entire front page was an ad from the T.L. Wallace Clothing Company of Marietta advertising a $12,000 shoe stock – the largest stock in North Georgia.

Also in that edition, there was a story about how the gin house of the Shaw Brothers in Sandy Springs burned to the ground with 22 bales of cotton. There was no insurance carried on the gin, gin house or the cotton, which was valued at a $4,000 loss. All but two bales of the cotton were the property of customers of the gin.

Another story in that edition reported that the first Tuesday of the month always brought horse traders to Marietta. On the previous Tuesday, a black man named, Sam Speedy, rode in from Atlanta with a group of horse traders and rode around the Marietta Square doing a wild cowboy stunt that “would make Jack Richardson, of American film fame, look cheap.” Repeatedly cracking his long whip and frightening folks, Speedy was caught by Chief Goodsen – who according to the report grabbed the horse’s bridle in one hand and Speedy by the belt in the other before taking him to jail.

50 years ago …

In the Friday, Oct. 4, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that the ground-breaking for the multi-million dollar Lockheed Georgia Research Center near Smyrna began when Lockheed Corporate Board Chairman Courtlandt Gross turned a switch that set off an explosive charge. A space age generator, normally fueled by radioisotopes, supplied the power for the ground-breaking. The thermoelectric generator was mounted on a three-foot high pole some 200 yards from the buried charge.

Lockheed-Georgia’s new C-141 StarLifter was reported in the Sunday, Oct. 6, 1963 paper as being scheduled to make its first test flight in December 1963.

Ward 7 City Council candidate T.G. McBee indicated in the Monday, Oct. 7, 1963 paper that he would work for establishing a city bus system if elected. McBee was seeking to unseat incumbent Councilman Tom Holland in the general election.

In the Wednesday, Oct. 9, 1963 paper, it was reported that the State Board of Regents approved the establishment of a junior college in Cobb County. The college, which had to be financed by local bonds, was to be built on a site chosen by the Regents later. Cobb’s selection came during a Regents meeting in Carrollton. Both Cobb and Bartow counties had been actively seeking the facility.

Marietta Mayor-Elect Howard Atherton Jr. was reported in the Thursday, Oct. 10, 1963 paper as defeating Temperance Leader Barney Nunn by a vote of 4,001 to 1,022 in the city’s general election. The Marietta City Council also had six new faces as voters streamed to the polls in unexpected heavy numbers and turned out two of three incumbents. Ward 7 Councilman Tom Holland was the only surviving incumbent as Ward 2 Councilman Charlie Mayes and Ward 3 Councilman Bill Lee were defeated.

20 years ago …

An Atlanta developer who wanted to turn the historic, but run-down former Brumby Chair Co. facilities into an $11 million office park was reported in the Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1993 MDJ as delaying his plans for the second month in a row. Thomas P. Lennon, president of Atlanta-based The Lennon Companies, said he would ask the Marietta Planning Commission to table his request to rezone 7½-acres off Kennesaw Avenue and North Marietta Parkway. Lennon said he needed time to find solutions to potential traffic problems. His three-phase development proposal focused on renovating and reusing the existing five buildings on the property for a 126,250-square foot office park, with the added possibility of specialty shops and a restaurant.

A 14-year-old Acworth boy attacked by a rabid raccoon was reported in the Wednesday, Oct. 6, 1993 paper as the 19th victim in a rash of rabid animal cases in Cobb County for 1993.

In the Friday, Oct. 8, 1993 paper, it was reported that six boys, one only nine years old, who had been trashing a mobile home sales lot in the Cherokee County section of Acworth turned violent when confronted by a sales manager. The nine-year-old swung a metal pole that he was using to destroy the inside of a trailer and struck the manager in the head as the others watched. The manager stated that one of the boys then said they should kill him and the group appeared not to be scared of anything. The confrontation ended when another sales manager arrived and the youths scattered. The manager held onto his attacker and that gave Cherokee County deputies the break they needed in solving a four-day, $25,000 vandalism spree at the business. The boys, who were all arrested at a nearby mobile home park, each faced up to 15 felony counts of criminal damage to property.

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The Week of Oct. 3rd
by Damon_Poirier
September 30, 2013 10:20 AM | 514 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at an Austell shooting, Cobb’s courthouse, a Kennestone bomb scare and the Big Chicken.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Oct. 3, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a story about how rival teams from Marietta High School and the Georgia Military Academy (GMA) were expected to play football in Atlanta later that day. The GMA team was considered to be one of the best prep teams in Georgia.

Another story in that edition reported that nationally-known evangelist the Rev. Frank C. Wright was expected to arrive in Marietta that day and preach his first sermon at the Presbyterian Church. A large congregation was expected for the Sunday evening service. Several Acworth residents were to arrive on the 6:45 p.m. evening train, while several Atlanta and Smyrna residents were to take the trolley up to Marietta for the service.

Also that week, there was a story about a 25-year-old man who was shot and killed in an Austell store following a quarrel over a lost pipe. The victim was said to have drawn a pistol on his killer, a 24-year-old man, who then dodged behind the store owner and fired a shot with his own weapon. The fatal bullet struck the victim in the forehead. Claiming self-defense, the killer turned himself into the town marshal and was brought to Marietta to await trial.

50 years ago …

In the Sunday, Sept. 29, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal, Marietta mayoral candidate Barney Nunn proposed construction of a downtown tunnel on the south side of the city in case of traffic congestion on the Square. The candidate, who was opposed by City Councilman Howard Atherton Jr. in the race to succeed retiring Mayor Sam Welsch, included the proposal in an eight-point campaign platform.

The Cobb County Advisory Board was reported in the Tuesday, Oct. 1, 1963 paper as having turned down a request by the mayors of Cobb’s six cities to hold a referendum on a site for a new courthouse. In connection with the mayors’ proposal, the board tabled a request by Varner-Meek Inc., to buy a multi-acre tract of land on the Four Lane (U.S. Highway 41) for $1. The development corporation asked the county to take possession of the site, known as Government Square, because it was costing them $1,000 a month to hold the property.

It was reported in the Thursday, Oct. 3, 1963 paper that police were searching for a man believed to be a suspect in the Kennestone Hospital bomb scare. The man, who was seen in a basement corridor of the hospital, asked a nurse about 7:30 p.m. the night before if there had been a bomb scare at the hospital. At the time of the threat, there were 312 patients in the hospital with 34 of them newborn babies. While no patients were evacuated, all visitors were asked to leave. The call was the third bomb scare in Marietta that week.

20 years ago …

In the Monday, Sept. 27, 1993 MDJ it was reported that statistics compiled by the Metropolitan Atlanta Crime Commission, a privately-financed, non-profit agency based in Atlanta, showed that Cobb County crimes from 1968 to 1992 had dipped to a five-year low. According to the study, crime rates dropped an average of six percent throughout the metro area in 1992, with the sharpest declines seen in Cobb, Douglas and Gwinnett counties.

A Cobb-based Air National Guard jet fighter wing was reported in the Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1993 paper as facing either being transferred to Robins Air Force Base near Macon or being disbanded, according to U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Perry). The Air Force wanted to take away the 1,300-member wing’s 18 F-15 jet fighters at Dobbins Air Reserve Base and replace them with eight B-1B intercontinental bombers.

Another story that day reported that Marietta’s most famous landmark, the Big Chicken was to be dismantled. The 30-year-old bird like the fabled phoenix was going to rise from its demise and sit atop a new Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. A spokesman for the Louisville, Ky.-based chain said rebuilding the restaurant and the 56-foot chicken would take about 90 days weather permitting.

In the Friday, Oct. 1, 1993 paper it was reported that a Kennesaw man who walked out of the Cobb courthouse before a jury convicted him of murder was arrested without incident in Ashville, Ala. An FBI agent and an Alabama police officer found and then arrested the man after going door to door in an Ashville neighborhood where the fugitive’s Marietta girlfriend had relatives. The 24-year-old man had been free to come and go as he pleased during the Cobb Superior Court proceedings after posting bail. Throughout the trial, he had remained in court. But, after the jury began deliberating, he left the courtroom saying he wanted to go smoke a cigarette. When jurors returned with a question for the court, it was discovered that the man had disappeared.

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 Sept. 26
by Damon_Poirier
September 23, 2013 10:18 AM | 596 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

This week’s Time Capsule looks at a Civil War signal officer’s visit, a new C-130 Hercules, the reactivation of the Phillips Legion, Newt Gingrich, former Gov. Lester Maddox and Fred Tokars.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Sept. 26, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the entire front page was once again taken up by the same ad for Marietta clothier T.W. Read that appeared the week before.

Another story in that edition reported that Lt. George C. Rounds, a signal officer for Gen. William T. Sherman during the last of the Civil War, came to Marietta with P.P. Hurlbut of Atlanta to demonstrate on Kennesaw Mountain the use of signal flags – which were the same ones used 50 years earlier.

50 years ago …

In the Friday, Sept. 20, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that a new version of the famed Air Force C-130 Hercules transport would be capable of retrieving astronauts, wherever they landed on the Earth’s surface. Designated the HC-130H, the configuration was selected by the Air Force because it met the requirements for Air Rescue Service missions.

Sen. Herman E. Talmadge was reported in the Sunday, Sept. 22, 1963 paper as voicing his opposition to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and said that he would vote against its ratification. Sen. Talmadge was at first inclined to support the treaty, but he reached the conclusion that the military gamble was too great and that it was too great a threat to national security.

Also that day, it was reported that three Georgia Tech students were caught after a brief tryout of giant earth moving equipment at the Interstate 75 construction area in south Cobb.

The Ward 6 Marietta City Council race between D.H. Holmes, a black funeral director, and Frank Ayers, a white man, was reported in the Monday, Sept. 23, 1963 paper as continuing to stir brisk voter registration as the deadline drew near.

In the Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1963 paper, it was reported that the Phillips Legion, one of the most colorful Georgia units in the Civil War, was reactivated by Gov. Carl Sanders with the commissioning of 18 Cobb County residents as officers. The Legion, commanded by Cobb Commissioner Herbert McCollum, would plan and direct the 1964 centennial observance of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.

The Marietta Center of the University of Georgia, hit by mounting enrollment for fall classes, was reported in the Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1963 paper as having overflowed into the Sunday School classrooms of a nearby church and officials were still searching for more space. Dr. Archie Rushton, the center’s director, said a total of 1,125 students had registered for fall courses as compared to only 750 in 1962 and that the anticipated fall registration was only 900 students.

20 years ago …

Dr. Timothy Mescon, dean of Kennesaw State College’s business school, said in the Monday, Sept. 20, 1993 MDJ that he now wished the school had never agreed to offer the Renewing American Civilization course that he teaches jointly with Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich. The college and Rep. Gingrich had come under heavy fire over the course, which some believed was a bully pulpit that Gingrich used to spread a conservative agenda.

Cobb school officials were reported in the Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1993 paper as having to close Nash Middle School in Smyrna after it was “trashed” by vandals, who broke windows, smashed equipment and spray-painted walls throughout the campus.

In the Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1993 paper, it was reported that former Gov. Lester Maddox won a five-year battle to rezone his 1.3-acre tract on Johnson Ferry Road, with Cobb commissioners unanimously approving a commercial classification that would allow a wide range of uses. The residential property was long ago zoned office-institutional, but used primarily as the residence of Gov. Maddox and his wife, Virginia. It had been considered a bulwark against retail and commercial encroachment into neighborhoods off Johnson Ferry and directly behind his home.

A federal judge was reported in the Thursday, Sept. 23, 1993 paper as dismissing a subpoena by lawyers for Fred Tokars that was asking for all the files collected by lawyers for Eddie Lawrence, who had pleaded guilty to the Nov. 29, 1992 murder of Tokars’ wife, Sara. U.S. District Court Judge Orinda Evans did, however, allow Atlanta lawyer Jerry Froelich to subpoena either Ron Hunton or Pat Banks, the two Cobb detectives who investigated the Cobb murder case.

In an attempt to keep a jet fighter wing in Marietta, it was reported in the Saturday, Sept. 25, 1993 paper that U.S. Rep. George “Buddy” Darden (D-Marietta) had tacked an amendment onto the House Appropriations Committee’s fiscal 1994 defense budget bill that would block its relocation to central Georgia. The legislation, which passed the committee earlier in the week and was expected to pass the full House intact, would prohibit the use of Defense Department or Air Force funds for relocation of the 1,300-member 116th Tactical Fighter Wing from Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta to Robins Air Force Base near Macon.

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 Sept. 19th
by Damon_Poirier
September 19, 2013 12:05 PM | 574 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
 This week’s Time Capsule looks at a well rescue, desegregation, peace between Israel and the PLO, Lockheed and the 1848 House.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Sept. 19, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the entire front page was taken up by an ad for Marietta clothier T.W. Read advertising new suits and overcoats for men and Norfolk jackets for women, featuring Hart Schaffner & Marx clothes.

Another story in that edition reported that a young woman was found in a 40-foot well at her great aunt’s house in the Lost Mountain area the Sunday before. A man at the home heard her cries for help and quickly telephoned neighbors who pulled her out of four feet of water at the bottom of the well by a rope tied around her body. Dressed in her night clothes, the woman apparently fell in because the slide door over the top of the well was only half closed.

Also that week, the August cattle tick report was released. The report stated that the total herds and farms under local quarantine were 95 and the number of cattle was 622.

50 years ago …

In the Friday, Sept. 13, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal it was reported that a group of blacks had petitioned the Marietta Board of Education to desegregate city schools. An 11-member delegation appeared before the school board the night before and asked for immediate action.

The U.S. Bureau of Public Roads revealed plans in the Sunday, Sept. 15, 1963 paper that would take a new look at proposed routes for a series of multi-lane connector roads planned for the Marietta, Elizabeth and Fair Oaks areas. Taken at the request of the State Highway Department, the move was the result of vigorous protests lodged by residents of Kennesaw Avenue who said a portion of the system scheduled to run up their street should be re-routed.

Another story that day reported the possibility of a black candidate entering the Marietta Ward 6 City Council race in the October city elections. D.H. Holmes, a black funeral home director, said he was being urged to seek the post of outgoing councilman C.E. Crissey.

In the Wednesday, Sept. 18, 1963 paper it was reported that Brig. Gen. George Wilson of Dobbins Air Force Base said a new Defense Department ruling that forbid military units from participating in events where audiences or facilities are segregated was not expected to have a local impact.

Federal, state and county law enforcement officers were reported in the Thursday, Sept. 19, 1963 paper as sorting through clues in Fair Oaks after a burglary crew successfully pulled off a $2,500 safe robbery during the night before.

20 years ago …

In the Tuesday, Sept. 14, 1993 paper, it was reported that several religious leaders and county residents saw the landmark peace agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), signed the night before, as the first step on a long road to peace in the Middle East. The televised event showed the 3,000 onlookers – including former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush – closing the signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. with a standing ovation.

Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co. was reported in the Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1993 paper as having received both full funding in fiscal year 1994 for the F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter and a provision that would keep final assembly of the plane at the South Cobb Drive plant. The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee recommended spending $2.25 billion for the F-22.

Another story that day reported that components for the P-3 Orion to be built by Lockheed in Marietta represented the two largest shipments ever to arrive in the seaport of Savannah. The first two shipments of parts arrived over the weekend in separate ships that docked at Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City Terminal. The larger of the two – a crate holding the wings for the first Cobb-built submarine hunter – was secured to a special CSX Railroad car for the trip to the plant, while the second shipment was delivered by a flatbed truck.

In an effort to get the Cobb Galleria Centre off to a good start, the convention center wined and dined The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) with $150,000 last September. In the Friday, Sept. 17, 1993 paper, it was reported that earlier in the week, the 12-member board of the Georgia Society of Associated Executives, affiliated with ASAE, voted to drop the tentative, three-day booking with the center in response to the county’s resolution criticizing gay lifestyles.

In the Saturday, Sept. 18, 1993 paper it was reported that the water oak behind the 1848 House restaurant in Marietta – which had survived the Civil War skirmish between Gen. William T. Sherman’s Union troops and retreating Confederates almost 130 years ago – fell from age and wet rot. The tree toppled during an afternoon storm, but missed the 143-year-old Greek Revival-style plantation house that it shaded at the corner of South Cobb Drive and Pearl Street.

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 Sept. 12th
by Damon_Poirier
September 13, 2013 01:15 PM | 576 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
This week’s Time Capsule looks at a jail escape, Lockheed’s annexation, a Marietta mountain lion, Newt Gingrich’s Renewing American Civilization course and Julia Roberts.
 
100 years ago …
 
In Friday, Sept. 12, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a story about how the First National Bank of Marietta was designated an active depositary of the U.S. government. The bank, which had been an inactive depositary for about eight years, would now pay all government checks and was authorized to accept government money deposits.
 
Another story in that edition reported that the Boy Scouts of Marietta met at the home of their scout master and held memorial exercises in the memory of a scout who drowned in Joyner Pond in 1912.
 
50 years ago …
 
A possible jail escape from the Cobb County Jail was reported in the Friday, Sept. 6, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as being foiled after a prisoner was disarmed of an assortment of crude weapons. Chief Deputy John Quarles said that he and Deputy Sheriff Jesse Cooper recovered a razor sharp knife, several pieces of a rusted hack saw blade, a nail file and a hypodermic needle hidden in the prisoner’s clothing after they brought him from his upstairs cell to a downstairs room where he thought he was going to be routinely questioned.
 
Marietta Councilman Howard Atherton Jr., was reported in the Sunday, Sept. 8, 1963 paper as having announced as a candidate for mayor in Marietta’s October general election.
 
In the Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1963 paper, it was reported that Marietta Mayor Sam Welsch said that the Georgia General Assembly might ask in January to approve legislation annexing the Lockheed-Georgia Company, Dobbins Air Force Base and the Naval Air Station into Marietta. Welsch said the move, which would increase city tax revenues by more than $185,000 a year, was cleared by the U.S. Department of Defense, Lockheed officials and Cobb County government leaders.
 
Welsch was also reported in the Thursday, Sept. 12, 1963 paper as having announced that he would not seek re-election. Citing the fact that the citizens of Marietta had elected him on five different occasions and that he held office 12 of the last 16 years, Welsch said, “The time has come for someone else to be elected mayor.”
 
Also that day, the Cobb County Board of Education adopted a firm four-point policy for determining if individual married students would be permitted to attend schools within the system. The action was taken after Superintendent Jasper Griffin told the Cobb board that the system was in danger of “becoming a dumping ground” for married students excluded by other systems.
 
20 years ago …
 
In the Tuesday, Sept. 7, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that Marietta officials were investigating claims of a “large mountain lion” in Wildwood Park, adjacent to Life Chiropractic College at Barclay Circle and South Cobb Drive. An unidentified woman claimed she was chased by a large wildcat while visiting the park. Marietta Police checked several trails, but could not find the animal. However, they did “observe several large paw prints in the moist soil.”
 
Also that day, U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich was reported as saying that he did not plan to back down from his commitment to teach an ideological course at Kennesaw State College in the fall, despite concerns of university system directors over alleged connections between fund-raising efforts for the course and a Republican PAC the congressman chaired. Later in the week, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 1993, it was reported that Gingrich’s special topics course – Renewing American Civilization – was back on track. KSC President Dr. Betty Siegel said in a prepared statement that the controversy would not halt the project, which was scheduled to begin Sept. 18, 1993.
 
Actress and Smyrna native Julia Roberts was reported in the Friday, Sept. 10, 1993 paper as being on the cover of the 10th anniversary special issue of “Vanity Fair.” Roberts said in the magazine that her new husband, country singer Lyle Lovett, reminded her of her one-time fantasy man, Abraham Lincoln.
 
In the Saturday, Sept. 11, 1993 paper, it was reported that a citizens’ committee recommended that the controversial East-West Connector be constructed along the original 4.9-mile route with a northern bypass around the Concord Covered Bridge area. The group stunned many in the audience at the South Cobb Government Center with a recommendation that access be prohibited between Hicks and Fontaine roads, a three-mile stretch of the route. The surprise suggestion was expected to redefine the road as a limited-access freeway and quiet widespread criticism that the route was intended to be little more than a developmental highway.
 

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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