This week Time Capsule looks at Communism, anti-integration pickets, a Mayor’s lawsuit, the flooding Mississippi River and Cobb’s anti-gay resolution.
100 years ago …
In Friday, Aug. 1, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a front page story about Marietta’s new high school building having been completed and the keys turned over to the Board of Education. Built to the plans of architect J.R. MacEachern of Atlanta, the school’s lighting was reported as “almost perfect” and with “no dark corners or cloak rooms anywhere in the building.” During a recent inspection of the work, the Board reportedly found nothing to criticize and everything to commend.
Another story in that edition reported “the biggest event in Masonry” would be held in Powder Springs later that week as the Masonic lodges of Cobb County would meet for their 10th annual convention.
There was also a front page ad that week from The Gem Theatre announcing the screening of Robinson Crusoe, which according to the ad was “the greatest, most masterly three-reel film of the age.”
50 years ago …
A Smyrna police official was reported in the Friday, July 26, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as having been arrested for embezzlement following the discovery of shortages in cash receipt funds. Mayor Jake Ables said that the officer had admitted to “misappropriation” of the less than $500 in traffic fine receipts.
In the Sunday, July 28, 1963 paper, it was reported that Juvenile Court Judge Conley Ingram was back from a trip to Russia. Ingram, noting that Cobb schools would offer a comparative course in Americanism vs. Communism that fall, said Americanism and loyalty should be taught to U.S. students as fervently as Communists preached their philosophy. Ingram, along with a delegation of Georgia citizens, toured cities in Russia, Poland and Hungary as well as West Berlin, Germany weeks earlier.
Also that day it was reported that anti-integration pickets were withdrawn from three Cobb restaurants after an agreement was reached with the management at two of the businesses. The Cobb County Citizens for Better Government, Inc. on July 13 started picketing the Davis Brothers’ cafeteria on the Four Lane Highway (U.S. Highway 41) in Marietta; the Chick, Chuck ‘n Shake drive-in at Roswell Road and the Four Lane – which was also operated by the Davis Brothers and sat on the site of the current day Big Chicken; and Johnny Reb’s Dixieland at Smyrna.
Another story that day reported a south-bound freight train struck and killed a young Mableton man shortly after he had left a restaurant where a fight had broken out. The man’s body was dragged some 350 feet by the Southern Railway’s Number 152 train. The scene of the accident was just a few yards from the point where the Floyd Road Bridge crossed the tracks in Mableton.
Marietta Mayor Sam Welsch was reported in the Monday, July 29, 1963 paper as having drawn up and filed a $100,000 lawsuit against Steve W. Brown, the editor of the monthly newsletter – “The Conservative Georgian,” in Cobb Superior Court. The suit alleged that Welsch had been defamed by the “Around Cobb County” article in the publication’s June 24 issue.
20 years ago …
In the Monday, July 26, 1993 MDJ, it was reported that U.S. Reps. George “Buddy” Darden (D-Marietta) and Newt Gingrich (R-East Cobb) supported President Bill Clinton’s $3 billion emergency aid package to states ravaged by the flooding Mississippi River. Rising waters along the swollen river and its tributaries had flooded homes in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. Locally, Cobb County Manager David Hankerson was also expected to unveil to the Cobb County Commission details of a proposed comprehensive storm water management plan for the county.
The on-again, off-again resolution stating that Cobb commissioners should not endorse gay lifestyles in any of its policy decisions was reported in the Tuesday, July 27, 1993 paper as being back on the commission agenda. Eastern District Commissioner Gordon Wysong pushed the resolution along with a proposed ordinance change that would direct county funding for arts and cultural programs only to projects that supported “family-oriented, community values.” Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne removed the resolution from the agenda the previous week at the behest of Commissioner Bill Cooper, who said it could be interpreted as “gay-bashing.” The night before the commission meeting, the resolution was removed from the agenda for a second time. Byrne said the commission was unable to agree on a definition of community standards, despite hours of debate amongst themselves.
Cobb Police and staff at Cobb Hospital and Medical Center on Austell Road were reported in the Thursday, July 29, 1993 paper as searching a newborn infant’s body which disappeared from the morgue. Hospital officials found the body missing when a funeral home came to pick up the girl’s remains. In the following day’s paper it was reported that missing newborn had apparently been cremated without the family’s consent.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.