This week Time Capsule looks at a prisoner shooting, a solar eclipse, drownings and the beginnings of Cobb County’s anti-gay resolution.
100 years ago …
In Friday, July 25, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the entire front page was taken up with an ad for Henry A. Ward & Co’s “Cash Ticket Sale.” For seven days, the store was offering various valued cash tickets to customers based on the amounts of their purchases. The cash tickets could then be used to purchase anything in the store the same as cash during the sale period.
A second page story that week reported a young white convict had been shot and killed by a guard at the prison camp “located at the old Wilder place on the Kennesaw and Acworth Road.” The prisoner was serving a life sentence.
50 years ago …
In the Friday, July 19, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal, there was a report that amateur astronomers in the area were gathering to photograph and view the solar eclipse at the Lockheed recreation center. Members of the Atlanta Astronomy Club and the Lockheed Astronomer Club planned to set out a variety of telescopes with projecting screens, binoculars covered with dense photographic film and other viewing aids for the celestial show.
Also that day, the Marietta Housing Authority obtained a temporary court order preventing Cobb Ordinary Garvis Sams from calling an election to incorporate the town of Elizabeth, which was located near present-day Kennestone Hospital on the Church Street Extension.
Cobb County was reported in the Sunday, July 21, 1963 paper as having agreed to renovate the Old Post Office building on Atlanta Street to make it suitable for use as the new home for the Cobb-Marietta Library.
In another story that day, it was reported that 10 gas lamps used to light the entrance to the Stratford Subdivision in southeast Cobb were smashed by vandals. This was the second time that the lamps had been destroyed.
Two children, ages 5 and 6, and a 17-year-old Marietta boy were reported in the Monday, July 22, 1963 paper as having drowned within minutes of each other in a triple tragedy at Lake Allatoona. The drownings happened on opposite sides of the lake. Ironically, units of the Cobb County and Bartow civil defense organizations were rehearsing a drowning victim within sight of the spot where the two children died.
A second story that day reported a middle-aged businessman piloting a single-engine plane from a Cobb airfield to Chicago died in a crash eight miles north of Chattanooga. The cause of the crash was assumed to be a thunderstorm the man flew into.
An Acworth man was reported in the Tuesday, July 23, 1963 paper as having been arrested after being tracked down by bloodhounds from the county farm. The man allegedly assaulted a Kennesaw police officer with a claw hammer when the officer foiled a break-in attempt at the Old 41 Package Store.
In the Thursday, July 25, 1963 paper, it was reported that former Smyrna Mayor George W. Kreeger threw his hat back into the political ring for the city’s November mayoral election.
20 years ago …
Austell was reported in the Monday, July 19, 1993 MDJ as becoming the first city in the county, and one of only a handful in the state, to convert to a volume-based trash pickup system.
In the Wednesday, July 21, 1993 paper, it was reported that the search for Marietta’s new school superintendent was at an end as the school board announced that Cobb County’s assistant superintendent Ron Galloway was a finalist for the job.
Also that day, the Kennesaw City Council was reported as apparently ignoring a city law when it issued building permits for 17 homes in a 106-acre subdivision before the roads had been approved.
With gay issues dominating headlines from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta, some county commissioners were reported in the Thursday, July 22, 1993 paper as wanting to draw a line in Cobb County by controlling the pursestrings for local arts groups. Commissioner Gordon Wysong wanted to even go a step further with a resolution that endorsed traditional families and criticized gay lifestyles. The issue that launched the local response was a 1992 production by Theatre in the Square that involved homosexual themes and nudity.
Later in the week, in the Sunday, July 24, 1993 paper, it was reported that some members of Cobb’s arts community were charging Wysong’s proposed ban on artistic works that included or advanced homosexual themes amounted to censorship.
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.