This week Time Capsule looks at Leo Frank’s guilty verdict, integration, I-75 contracts, Marietta’s Pony League champs, more fallout on Cobb’s anti-gay resolution and Fred Tokars’ murder charge indictment.
100 years ago …
In Friday, Aug. 29, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a story reporting that Leo M. Frank was found guilty of murdering Mary Phagan of Marietta and sentenced to hang on Oct. 10 by Judge L.S. Roan. The story reported that 4,000 people were in demonstration around the court house when the verdict was announced.
Another story in that edition reported that a six-year-old girl, who lived eight miles from Marietta, choked to death on a handful of green peas.
50 years ago …
Gov. Carl Sanders said in the Sunday, Aug. 25, 1963 paper that he would “vigorously oppose” any attempt by the federal government to force preferential hiring of blacks in state agencies. The governor’s comment followed an announcement that the federal government for 12 months had been quietly seeking “voluntary” integration of several state departments which received federal grants.
In the Wednesday, Aug. 27, 1963 paper, there was a story about a cost of living increase of three cents per hour, effective Sept. 14 and affecting roughly 13,000 Lockheed-Georgia Company hourly paid employees. The increase was based on the July cost of living index which rose to 107.1, which was from the April index of 106.2.
Another story that day reported the State highway Department was expected to award contracts in October or November for another Cobb County section of Interstate Highway 75. The contacts were to include a portion of the multi-lane expressway between the Atlanta circumferential route and Marietta’s Roswell Street.
Marietta city officials were reported in the Thursday, Aug. 29, 1963 paper as busy planning a homecoming celebration for the world’s third ranked Pony League team. Mayor Sam Welsch’s office announced that the Marietta champs would be met by a police escort at the city limits and then taken to the police station where city officials and the Marietta High School band would officially greet the players.
20 years ago …
In the Monday, Aug. 23, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that the political debate over Cobb County’s anti-gay resolution boiled over into a religious one as homosexuals, sympathizers and a Christian coalition converged on the Marietta Square. With picnic baskets and rainbow-striped flags in hand, about 1,000 conservatively dressed and acting gays, lesbians and supporters gathered in Glover Park for a peaceful Queer Family Picnic. An hour after it begun, a group of county and city law enforcement politely ushered the gay rights crowd out of the park so 400 sign and Bible-toting Christians could hold their “praise rally.” Area ministers and evangelists during the rally preached love and acceptance while punctuating the sermons with hymns like “How Great Thou Art,” “He Is Lord,” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
After almost two months of contentious and fiery debate, the Cobb Board of Commissioners was reported in the Wednesday, Aug. 25, 1993 paper as having voted unanimously to cut off all county funding that supported the arts. The vote came just two hours after more than 25 arts supporters made one final attempt to make the commission see things their way.
Fred Tokars was reported in the Friday, Aug. 27, 1993 paper as being indicted on murder, armed robbery and kidnapping charges relating to the highly publicized Nov. 29, 1992 shotgun slaying of his wife, Sara, in front of their two sons near their east Cobb home. Cobb grand jurors met for 90 minutes before returning the indictment. District Attorney Tom Charron also filed a notice in Cobb Superior Court saying that he would be seeking the death penalty against Tokars, a 40-year-old tax attorney and former Atlanta municipal judge. It was also reported that the day before, federal authorities unsealed an indictment charging Tokars and a former business associate with using interstate telephone lines to plot the kidnapping and murder of Tokars’ 39-year-old wife.
In the Saturday, Aug. 28, 1993 paper, it was reported that the Atlanta-based band, Good Medicine, played about three songs in 15 minutes of their Glover Park Concert Series show on the Marietta Square before walking off stage in protest of the Cobb commissioners’ decision to withdraw funding for all arts. The five-member Blue Grass band quickly packed their equipment and left the Square to the booing of a 400-member audience.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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