MDJ Time Capsule: The Week of January 17th
by Damon Poirier
January 16, 2013 11:25 AM | 1478 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at pinball machines as gambling devices, a local lawmaker coming under enemy sniper fire in Somalia and the governor’s attempt to change the state flag.

100 years ago …

Taking up half of the front page of the Friday, Jan. 17, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, was a letter from Marietta Mayor J.J. Black on the financial state of the city. The letter said that the city’s income had not covered expenses and that debt was just being added to debt year after year.

The second page of that week’s edition showed a half-page graphic with financial statements citing information from the administrations of former Mayors Dobbs and Clay alongside Mayor Black’s. The remainder of the page was taken up by an ad from the Chamber of Commerce urging citizens to attend a 7:30 p.m. joint meeting of the Chamber and the city council that night at the Kennesaw House to discuss the city’s finances.

50 years ago …

A lifeline to pull in more revenue for Marietta schools in case federal impact aid was cut off for the 1963 school year was added to the city’s rules, according to the Sunday, Jan. 13, 1963 MDJ. The city council voted 5-1 to raise the allowable school tax ceiling on private property and to let the school fund donations by the city-owned Board of Lights and Water Works be raised.

Police said, in the Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1963 paper, that they attempted to stop a driver for a routine traffic offense in Marietta, but the car raced off and started a high-speed chase through the downtown area. The chase, which reached speeds of 75-80 mph, ended when the driver hit a patch of ice and his car skidded into a utility pole. A search of the vehicle turned up one and a half gallons of non-tax-paid moonshine whiskey and a concealed .38-caliber pistol under the dashboard.

Another story that day reported that the city of Kennesaw’s Police Chief W.J. Freeman had resigned after city officials announced their intention of cutting his pay from $5,720 a year to $4,500.

In the Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1963 paper, soaring flames were reported to have destroyed a building containing three businesses – Beets Barber Shop, a beauty shop and a washateria – in the Elizabeth community, located along the Church Street Extension corridor near Kennestone Hospital. The pre-dawn fire, with 30-foot flames, burned through an overhead cable and disrupted local phone service for most of the day.

A court decision that pinball machines awarding free games were gambling devices was reported as being allowed to stand by the State Supreme Court, in the Thursday, Jan. 17, 1963 paper. The Supreme Court’s action allowed Georgia’s law officers to stamp out pinball machine operations as a violation of the state’s anti-gambling statutes.

20 years ago …

U.S. Rep. George “Buddy” Darden, D-Marietta, was reported in the Monday, Jan. 11, 1993 MDJ, as being among a group of congressmen in Mogadishu, Somalia, who came under enemy sniper fire during the first visit by U.S. lawmakers since the start of Operation Restore Hope.

Snipers began shooting as the congressional delegation arrived at one of Mogadishu’s hot spots, a sports stadium where 1,500 U.S. Marines were encamped along the Green Line that divided the city between rival clans. Marine riflemen took up positions behind stacks of sandbags as the congressmen were rushed from their vehicles into rooms beneath the stadium.

Several Cobb legislators, in the Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1993 paper, said they were taken aback by Gov. Zell Miller’s impassioned plea to change the Georgia state flag during his annual State of the State address to the General Assembly. Most members of the Cobb delegation said they wanted a statewide, public referendum on the controversial issue, while the governor was pushing for a legislative vote to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the flag.

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 

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