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.
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