In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the visit of a former President, a brazen bank robbery on the Marietta Square and a cleanup of several hundred containers of toxic waste.
100 years ago …
Former President Theodore Roosevelt’s passing through Marietta on his way from Atlanta to Chattanooga was in the Friday, Oct. 4, 1912 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier. Roughly 500 people gathered at the depot to get a glimpse of the Bull Moose candidate for the 1912 Presidential election during a brief stop.
When his train arrived, Roosevelt came out onto the rear car’s platform and shook hands with the folks that could reach him. Local supporter, C.C. Coyle was noted as being kept busy lifting children up to shake Col. Roosevelt’s hand.
While Roosevelt did not make a speech, the story stated that he remembered Marietta was the home of Sen. Alexander Stephens Clay and spoke of him as an unusually fine type of man.
On the heels of Marietta Mayor J.J. Black’s letter the previous week, City Clerk W. M. Fleming placed four ads scattered about the front page of that week’s paper reminding city residents to pay their 1912 city taxes by Oct. 20.
Another ad that appeared across the bottom half of the front page was for The Gem Theater. It announced in addition to the regular daily program that a new film, “The Animated Daily,” would feature special events every day on items from around the country. Admission was a nickel and a dime, which was a steal compared to today’s average movie ticket price of $8.
50 years ago …
The carving of the county into east and west state senate districts was in the MDJ’s Monday, Oct. 1, 1962 edition. The decision agreed upon by Cobb County’s state Reps. Bill Teague, Harold Willingham and Joe Mack Wilson was set to be incorporated into a bill reapportioning the state Senate. Up until this point, Cobb had shared a single senator with two neighboring counties.
In the Tuesday, Oct. 2, 1962 MDJ, a fisherman discovered 201 cartons of cigarettes dumped in a pine thicket near Woodstock in Cherokee County which was identified as part of an $11,000 burglary of the Veach Company. A total of 4,200 cartons of cigarettes had been stolen from Veach, a grocery warehouse near the Marietta Square, in late August. Sheriff Kermit Sanders’ detectives theorized that “heat” from that investigation caused the burglars to dump part of their haul in haste.
Also on that day, lawmen seized $7,400 in what they said were counterfeit $20 bills and arrested two people in a pre-dawn raid at a motel on U.S. 41 just south of the Marietta city limits. Federal treasury agents charged the Florida couple with possession of counterfeit cash, while local authorities charged them with carrying a concealed pistol in the glove compartment of their car.
On Thursday, Oct. 4, 1962, there was a pair of front page articles about a bold bandit who grabbed $15,500 from the First National Bank in the heart of downtown Marietta after he held a stick of dynamite against a teller’s face. Investigators said that the dynamite was fixed with a percussion cap and was set to explode if touched off by the robber, who drove away from the scene in a nearby car.
The robbery occurred shortly after the off-duty city police officer, who usually stood guard on the sidewalk during banking hours, had been lured away by a phony telephone call that the police chief wanted to see him.
This was the first time that the Marietta First National Bank had been robbed in the 62 years it had been located on the corner of South Park Square and Powder Springs Street.
20 years ago …
It was reported in the Thursday, Oct. 1, 1992 MDJ that vandals hit the Marietta Square for the fourth time in two weeks. Painted racial and anti-Semitic slogans were found on the statue of Sen. Alexander Stephens Clay and other areas of Glover Park.
Also, that day, the Marietta City Council voted 4-1 to take the battle over a business license for the Cyprus Lounge, a nude dance club, to the Georgia Supreme Court. The city, nine months earlier, had refused an adult-entertainment business license to the owner because the business was too close to the Noonday Baptist Association’s offices. The city’s adult-entertainment law forbids such clubs to be within 1,000-feet of a church.
On Friday, Oct. 2, 1992, there was a story about a $169,000 Superfund cleanup that began in November 1991 at an abandoned oil and antifreeze recycling center in Marietta. The EPA stated that they expected to be finished in roughly 30 days. Officials were in the final process of removing several hundred containers of toxic chemicals. When EPA investigators first checked the facility, they had found more than 300 drums and 30 large tanks filled with toxic chemicals that included oil, antifreeze, acids and solvents.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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