This week’s Time Capsule looks at a gun battle in Cartersville, a non-stop, trans-Atlantic flight and a bomb scare following the Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell’s rally at Roswell Street Baptist Church.
100 years ago …
In the Friday, May 30, 1913 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a report that a Bartow County man was in the Marietta jail with three bullet wounds after a pitched battle with a posse of officers and Cartersville residents earlier in the week. The tale began when five men, armed with automatic pistols, threatened to shoot a man working at a signal tower over some whiskey. The tower worker telegraphed the depot for help, but the Bartow County sheriff was sick in bed.
Bartow’s deputy sheriff answered the call only to be shot down at the scene and the five men escaped. A special agent at the W & A Railroad in Cartersville then called Marietta for help and Deputy Sheriff George Hicks responded with the county bloodhounds. After a gun battle in the front yard of a Bartow home after dark, the outlaws managed to escape again. However, one of the outlaws had been injured and Hicks was able to track the man for six miles before finding him hiding in a storm pit. With threats of lynching in Cartersville, Hicks brought the prisoner to Marietta for safe keeping.
50 years ago …
Gov. Carl Sanders announced in the Friday, May 24, 1963 MDJ an annual increase of almost $3 million in state welfare payments and said that recipients would get their first check increase the following month. The boosted payments amounted to $2 more per month for most people, while the blind and the disabled would see $1 to $5 more per month.
In the Sunday, May 26, 1963 paper it was reported that flags from the 50 states and American territories would be carried by Marietta residents in a ceremony at the National Cemetery to honor the dead of all wars. The program was sponsored by the National Memorial Day Association, which was composed of 16 veterans and military groups in honor of Memorial Day.
A pioneering non-stop, trans-Atlantic air cargo flight from Atlanta to Paris by a Marietta-made Lockheed C-130E Hercules propjet was expected to take off later in the week. The biggest cargo item on the plane, according to the Tuesday, May 28, 1963 paper, was a new Texas-made Bell helicopter. Declaring Atlanta a city of international importance, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and the National Aeronautic Association had officially sanctioned the 4,455-mile flight and would time it for record purposes.
20 years ago …
In the Tuesday, May 25, 1993 MDJ, former Councilman Paul Fields and Marietta lawyer Susan Brown-Harkins announced they would not run in the election to fill the seven months left in the term of late Marietta Mayor Joe Mack Wilson. This left the special election down to Marietta lawyer Robert Flournoy III, former banker Ansley Meaders and Councilman Floyd Northcutt.
Also that day, lawyers for Marietta and Cobb said that they would review restrictions on adult entertainment in light of a Georgia Supreme Court ruling upholding a Smyrna ordinance banning alcohol sales at nude dance clubs. The Friday before, the Georgia high court upheld Cobb Superior Court Judge George Kreeger’s October ruling denying an alcohol permit to the owner of Platinum Plus, a nude dance club on Old Concord Road near South Cobb Drive. The decision was viewed as a major victory for the city, which had been battling the permit for almost two years.
In the Friday, May 28, 1993 paper the Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell spoke to 2,300 people at the Roswell Street Baptist Church and told them American values were rotting. The culprits, according to Rev. Falwell, were President Bill Clinton’s administration and the solution was Christianity. He also said that signs of America’s decline were homosexuality, the faltering educational system and the Supreme Court’s rulings against religion in public schools.
The following day, two suspected bombs were delivered to Roswell Street Baptist Church by an unidentified man. The packages, addressed to Rev. Falwell and the Rev. Dr. Nelson Price – the pastor of the church – came in the wake of Rev. Falwell’s two-day “Wake Up, America” rally. The building was evacuated for 45 minutes as Marietta firefighters and police, along with two officers from the Cobb County Bomb Squad investigated the scene. It later turned out that the packages only contained clocks.
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 email@example.com.