This week’s Time Capsule looks at a fatal lightning strike and the Apollo 11 launch.

100 years ago …

The Thursday, July 17, 1919, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that during an electrical storm the Tuesday before, Roy McCutcheon, 23, who resided with his father-in-law J.T. Echols on Dallas Road, was struck in the head and instantly killed by a bolt of lightning. McCutcheon, who had just returned with his in-laws from visiting his wife at Dr. Nolan’s sanitarium in Marietta, was in the yard gathering up some stove wood at the time of the incident. The report said that his clothing was burned and his left shoe was torn to shreds. Mrs. McCutcheon, who was recovering from a serious operation, was not told of her husband’s death until the next day out of fear that the shock would be too much for her weakened condition.

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In the “News From Our Correspondents” column was the following item -

♦Austell section — The women of Austell gave a Japanese tea at the Lithia Springs Hotel the Thursday before and raised “a nice sum” that benefited the Austell High School.

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The Friday, July 18, 1919, edition of The Marietta Journal reported the dreaded boll weevil was found in the cotton fields of L. Millsaps farm near Lost Mountain. Cotton wilt was also reported as being discovered on the farms of A.H. McCleskey and James Dawson on Canton Road near the Cherokee County line. Both the insect and the disease were threats that farmers feared could do “considerable damage” to their lucrative cotton crops in the county.

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Repeal of the 10% soda water, soft drink and ice cream tax was decided the Wednesday before by Republican leaders of the House.

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Rogers’, a grocery store at 104 Cherokee St. in Marietta, ran an advertisement listing the following prices for the week: a package of hardwood toothpicks for 3 cents; Jello for 10 cents; Knox Gelatine for 18 cents; all flavors of ice cream powder for 10 cents; Cream of Wheat for 21 cents; Grape-Nuts for 13 cents; a quart of Sweet Apple Cider for 30 cents; and Eagle Brand Condensed Milk for 22 cents.

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“Louise Glaum, the screen’s ablest portrayer of fascinating, admiration seeking, luxury loving woman,” was coming to The Strand Theatre in Marietta in the film “Sahara” on July 22, 1919.

The drama, “from the powerful pen of C. Gardner Sullivan,” was to be enacted in “colorful settings of the Parisian cafes, the Egyptian desert and Cairo.” An advertisement alongside the article stated that it was “one of the most beautiful productions you have ever seen” and featured “gowns and riches to whet the dreams of any woman who ever lived.”

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The first White House of the Confederate States of America, located in Montgomery, Alabama, was saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The house was supposed to be torn down so a automotive garage could be built.

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In the Current Events column on the front page were the following items:

♦”The Capital removal row has about subsided. Macon has about decided that it is folly to try to haul the capital so far down state. The removal bill was tabled in the Senate (the Tuesday before), but Atlanta followers are fighting to keep out further delay in the House.”

♦”200 enemy aliens were released from Fort Oglethorpe (that week following the official end of WWI). Among them was Count James Minotto, the son-in-law of Louis Swift, the Chicago meat packer.”

According to Wikipedia, Louis Swift was the son of Gustavus Franklin Swift Sr., who founded a meat-packing empire in the Midwest. Gustavus Swift is credited with the development of the first practical ice-cooled railroad car, which allowed his company to ship meats across the country.

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In the “News From Over The County” column were the following items:

♦New Providence section — J.H. Haney’s barn was struck by lightning and burned to the ground the Tuesday before. The fire killed one of his mules and destroyed his wagon, buggy, wheat, oats and fodder.

♦Kennesaw section — The Phillips Legion, a unit of the Confederate Army, was to hold their annual reunion in Kennesaw on Aug. 13, 1919. The young soldiers of WWI were invited to take part in the celebration with the old veterans of the Civil War.

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50 years ago …

In the Sunday, July 13, 1969, Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that Pentagon documents showed that the Army planned or already conducted increased open-air testing of five deadly nerve gases, including one that killed 6,000 sheep in 1968 near the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah.

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A pre-dawn fire the Saturday before was reported in the Monday, July 14, 1969, paper as having almost destroyed a brick home in Mableton and injured a South Cobb firearm.

Also that day, a pregnant Austell woman was listed in serious condition at Cobb General Hospital that morning after she was shot in the left arm and side shortly after midnight.

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Officials of the Lockheed-Georgia Company in the Tuesday, July 15, 1969, paper informed the Air Force that ground static tests of the C5 Galaxy aircraft had produced a crack in the right wing near the point where it was mated to the fuselage.

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Apollo 11 was reported in the Wednesday, July 16, 1969, paper as hurtling “into space on a pillar of flame” that day, “carrying three astronauts and the dream of mankind on a historic voyage to sift the dust of the moon.”

The article said that:

“Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin A. Aldrin rode their 3,242-ton space machine into space exactly on time at 9:32 a.m. They reached a brief earth orbit, the first stage of the moon voyage, 12 minutes later. Apollo 11 rose majestically off Launch Pad 39A, leaving earth on man’s greatest adventure with an awesome bellow that shook the beaches where hundreds of thousands of spectators, the largest crowed ever to watch a launch, were jammed.”

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator and Historian for the Marietta Daily Journal.

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