The Week of Jan. 16
by Damon_Poirier
 MDJ Time Capsule
January 16, 2014 10:40 AM | 1510 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
This week’s Time Capsule looks at a Kennesaw shooting, the Atherton’s Drug Store explosion investigation and high school dropouts losing driver’s licenses.
100 years ago …
In the Friday, Jan. 16, 1914 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a story about B.A. Fite, the receiver of the defunct Kennesaw Bank, being arrested on charges of having fired several shots into the home of W.P. Whitaker in Kennesaw. The shooting was reported as following a feud between the stockholders of the defunct bank and its former officers.
Five rounds were fired into the home. The first two were fired through a window and the last three through a panel of glass in the front door where they lodged in the wall at the end of a hall. Whitaker was in Atlanta on business at the time of the shooting, but his wife and two small children were in the house.
Before Whitaker returned home, after being reached by his wife via telephone, the Sheriff’s office in Marietta had been notified. Deputy George M. Hicks and his bloodhounds tracked a trail immediately to the home of Fite, which was two blocks from Whitaker’s home. Deputy Hicks wanting to be sure he had the right man, ran the bloodhounds along the trail a second time and they lead him to Fite’s door a second time.
50 years ago …
In the Friday, Jan. 10, 1964 Marietta Daily Journal there was a story about the Marietta Board of Education awarding a $208,000 contract to Marietta Construction Company for building of a new addition at Lemon Street High School. School Superintendent Henry Kemp said construction of the addition was to be placed on the site of the school’s present football field and financed jointly by the Marietta and Cobb Boards of Education.
Investigators were reported in the Sunday, Jan. 12, 1964 paper as having completed their often delayed probe into the cause of the explosion of the Atherton’s Drug Store that happened on Oct. 31. Fire Chief Howard Schaeffer said an official announcement of the cause would be given as soon as the individual agencies were able to compile and confer on their findings.
The investigation proceeded rapidly until it was feared that heavy drilling work needed by the probe would cause the building to collapse. It also took a little over three weeks to dismantle the heavily damaged structure and then weather deteriorated into rain, sleet and snow which halted the investigation.
For a day by day look at news coverage following the gas explosion at Atherton’s Drug Store, check out The Atherton's Drug Store Explosion column.
Cobb Sen. Ed Kendrick announced in the Tuesday, Jan. 14, 1964 paper that he was co-sponsoring legislation in the General Assembly that would make school dropouts lose their driver’s licenses. The measure was scheduled for introduction in the State Senate by Kendrick and Sen. Zell Miller and would deny licenses to people of high school age if they voluntarily quit school. Kendrick said he and Miller were not only concerned about the dropout problem, but “we want somebody who is educated driving that hunk of machinery on the road.”
Also that day, City Planner Leo LaForge began anew a once thwarted survey to determine the necessary steps for making Marietta’s central business district more attractive to shoppers. The survey was first initiated in the fall of 1963, but fell through when downtown merchants and businessmen failed to reply to a questionnaire mailed to them by LaForge. The survey was part of a $51,000 urban development study approved for the city in June by the federal government’s Housing and Home Finance Agency.
20 years ago …
In the Monday, Jan. 10, 1994 MDJ it was reported that State Rep. Jack Vaughn, R-west Cobb, who underwent successful surgery for brain cancer three years earlier, was to undergo surgery again after a reoccurrence of the tumor. Rep. Vaughn, then-32, said that he admitted himself to Emory University Hospital after suffering what he thought was “sinus-related headaches for about two weeks.” Two days later, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 1994, it was reported that Rep. Vaughn’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Suzie Tindall, called the operation a success. Rep. Vaughn said his illness would not change his plans to run for a fourth two-year term in the Legislature.

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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