The Week of Aug. 22nd
This week Time Capsule looks at the death of Mary Phagan’s grandmother, tick eradication, Marietta schools bus service and fall out from the passing of Cobb’s anti-gay resolution.
100 years ago …
In Friday, Aug. 22, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a front page story regarding the now famous murder of Marietta’s Mary Phagan and the trial of her accused killer, Leo M. Frank. The story reported how Anna Benton, the 73-year-old grandmother of Mary Phagan, had died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J.W. Coleman in Atlanta. Mrs. Benton had been in Atlanta to be present at Frank’s murder trial. On the second day of the trial, “grief and incessant worry over the death of her granddaughter” caused her to take to bed “from which she was never able to rise.”
Another front page story in that edition reported that tick eradication work in Cobb for July 1913 listed 96 herds and farms under local quarantine and the number of cattle at 395. The total number of original and re-inspections of herds quarantined and herds on farms free of ticks were 498 with the number of cattle at 2,462.
There was also a half-page ad on Page 2 of that edition on the sale of the A.P. McCravy Farm which was to be sold “before the Courthouse door” in Marietta on Sept. 2, 1913. The property, at Turner’s Crossing on the Marietta electric car line just two miles south of Marietta, had been subdivided into 18 tracts that averaged from 1 to 20 acres each. Fourteen of the lots fronted the W&A Railroad, the electric car line and the public road.
50 years ago …
The Cobb County Grand Jury was reported in the Friday, Aug. 16, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as recommending charges be brought against the county unless an effort was made to remedy “deplorable” conditions at the jail. The 33-member body declared that it was “appalled” at the overcrowded, “unsanitary,” and poorly ventilated jail.
Also that day, it was reported that Elbert Cox, the Regional Director of the National Park Service, said new facilities for the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield park would be completed by June 1964 – the 100th anniversary of the mountain’s role in the Civil War.
Iran and New Zealand were also reported that day as having become the seventh and eighth nations to put into air force service the Lockheed-Marietta built turboprop C-130 Hercules airlifters.
In the Monday, Aug. 19, 1963 paper, it was reported that Cobb hosted its first foreign athletic team, as far as records at the time showed. The Monterrey, Mexico Pony League All-Stars arrived in Marietta to participate in the Southern Division finals at Heck Memorial Field.
In the Wednesday, Aug. 21, 1963 paper, it was reported that there would be no bus service for Marietta City School children during the coming school year. A survey made earlier in the year showed that most Marietta parents were in favor of bus service, but city officials were informed that $50,000 was needed to purchase the bus fleet and operate them for one year.
20 years ago …
Newspaper editors in the 7th District were reported in the Monday, Aug. 16, 1993 MDJ as generally believing that Rep. George “Buddy” Darden’s vote for President Bill Clinton’s economic plan would hurt the Marietta Democrat’s chances for a sixth full term. However, they acknowledged that there had not been a wave of letters to the editor or calls to the papers condemning Darden’s vote, his second in favor of the combination of tax increases and budget cuts.
The executive committee of the Cobb County Community Relations Council in the Tuesday, Aug. 17, 1993 paper criticized the Cobb Commissioner’s recent anti-gay resolution, calling it “ill-advised” and “inappropriate” in a memorandum on the issue sent to the commission. The document was approved in a 15-minute meeting with only three of the five committee members attending.
In the Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1993 paper, a front page story reported that the local branch of a major corporation was expected to announce the cancellation of a scheduled one-day event at the Cobb Galleria Centre as a result of the Cobb Commission’s recent condemning of gay lifestyles. The event was expected to draw about 800 people and cost a total of $14,000, including catering.
To prevent clashes between a predominantly Christian group and a homosexual organization it was reported in the Thursday, Aug. 19, 1993 paper that police ordered them not to use the Marietta Square at the same time for their rallies on Sunday, Aug. 22. The Concerned Christians of Cobb and the Lesbian Avengers had both asked to start their rallies at 1 p.m., but Marietta police said the Avengers’ Queer Family Picnic would be held first and ordered the Concerned Christians of Cobb to put their gathering until 3:30 p.m. Police were gearing up to handle a crowd of about 400 people for both rallies. The Lesbian Avengers was a “direct action” group founded in New York City in 1992. The Concerned Citizens of Cobb was a newly formed, loose knit group with no firm membership and no affiliation with any particular churches.
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.