The Week of February 21st
by Damon_Poirier
 MDJ Time Capsule
February 20, 2013 03:16 PM | 1731 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the performance of an aeronaut, the shotgun attack on a local black family’s home and the end of the county’s five-year dispute with former Gov. Lester Maddox.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Feb. 21, 1913 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier there was a story about the well attended annual prize drill of the Marietta Rifles taking place at the Auditorium. Sgt. O.C. Cassidy was awarded the gold medal for first prize, which was his second consecutive victory.

The story also stated that if Sgt. Cassidy were to win the 1914 prize drill, then the gold medal would permanently become his property. A second place cash prize was awarded to Sgt. William Cooper.

Also in that week’s paper, Hugh Manning, the proprietor of the Gem and Princess Theatres, was reported as having arranged to give a free exhibition at 2 p.m. the following day. The event, written about on the front page and in a large advertisement on page two, would feature Aeronaut C.E. Bankston making a daring parachute drop in the vacant lot next to W.W. Watkins’ blacksmith and wagon shop on Washington Avenue.

Bankston was expected to drop from a balloon several thousand feet in the air with three parachutes, using one at a time until he had changed parachutes three times in mid-air. After the flight, Bankston was to give a lecture on the trials and narrow escapes that happen in his profession at the Gem Theatre.

50 years ago …

The Marietta School Board was reported in the Friday, Feb. 15, 1963 MDJ as having proposed a tougher policy requiring all teachers to hold college degrees or be working for their diplomas. The board also took under consideration an offer to give free Bibles to elementary school children and received some opposition to that plan.

A request to change Marietta city government to four-year terms for the mayor and council was reported in the Tuesday, Feb. 19, 1963 paper. Councilmen told the paper that the provisions were part of a package of legislation affecting the city of Marietta, drawn up by Mayor Sam Welsch and submitted to the Cobb delegation.

Also that day, the Smyrna City Council was reported as asking for a voice in the setting of rates on the Cobb-Marietta Water Authority, which sold water to the city wholesale. Smyrna was the second Cobb city to make the request in recent days. Mayor Jack Ables declared that Smyrna was the fourth largest user of water after Cobb County, Marietta and Lockheed-Georgia Co.

A five-category rating system for films shown in Marietta theaters were reported approved by the city’s newly-organized Motion Picture Study Committee in the Wednesday, Feb. 20, 1963 paper. Paul Greenlee, the committee spokesman, said that Martin Theaters in the city had agreed to publish the ratings along with their advertisements of future films.

Four shotgun blasts were fired at the home of a black family in Marietta early on Thursday, Feb. 21, 1963 and was the second mysterious attack against the family for that year. Two of the shots crashed through a front window shortly after midnight and pellets sprayed a room occupied by a woman and her two teenage daughters.

Two more shots exploded from the darkness about half an hour later and struck the outside of the small frame dwelling. All seven occupants of the house escaped without injury.

A bullet fired from a pistol in a previous attack in mid-January shattered the home’s front window and woke several members of the sleeping family. Officers said they were planning to press the hunt for the gunman in the hopes of catching him before another assault was made.

Another story that day about Cobb’s growth was mentioned in an article within the February issue of Newsweek Magazine entitled, “Defense: Meat and Potatoes.” The paragraphs about Cobb appeared on page 28.

20 years ago …

In the Monday, Feb. 15, 1993 MDJ, a Georgia National Guard helicopter ambulance unit at Dobbins Air Reserve Base was reported as being on the list of units that could potentially be deactivated in fiscal year 1994. One of six Guard units slated for deactivation as part of a downsizing of the military, the 129-member unit – the 148th Medical Co. – flew 12 Vietnam war-era UH-1H “Huey” helicopters.

The Cobb County Commission reported that it had ended a five-year dispute with former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox in the Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1993 paper with a vote to rezone Maddox’s 1.2-acre home site on Johnson Ferry Road to a commercial retail category. The board voted 4-0 with Commissioner Bill Cooper abstaining, to approve a neighborhood retail commercial category for the property, which was surrounded by major shopping centers and offices.

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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