This week’s Time Capsule looks at the Lockheed StarLifter, train sideswipes, an abandoned baby and a gay pride rally.
100 years ago …
In Friday, June 19, 1914 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a front page story about an 18-year-old man who died from severe injuries after he dove into the Chattahoochee River and struck a rock or a tree stump.
A second story that week reported that “a great amount of damage was done to the crops in various parts of the county” during thunderstorms that happened the week before. Among the damage, one man in the northern part of the county had his barn blown down and outright killed one of his mules while two other mules were fatally injured. A second man had his barn blown down, a mule badly injured and his porch blown completely over the house, but not badly damaged. A third man had his cotton house blown down and his crop was almost ruined by hail, while a fourth man’s store was almost crushed when a big tree blew down and barely missed it.
50 years ago …
The first transcontinental hop of the U.S. Air Force C-141A – the Lockheed-Marietta made StarLifter – was reported in the Sunday, June 14, 1964 Marietta Daily Journal as being scheduled to depart from Dobbins Air Force Base. Maj. Joe Sciele and his USAF crew were to fly the fanjet giant to Edwards Air Force Base in California to begin accelerated service testing of the craft.
At the end of the week, in the Friday, June 19, 1964 paper, it was reported that President Lyndon Johnson had inspected the StarLifter during a visit to the 300,000-acre Air Force flight test center. The 158-ton fanjet transport, with an American flag painted on its four-story high T-tail, was flanked by three typical king-sized loads which it could airlift, nonstop at more than 500 miles per hour across either the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans. President Johnson was greeted on arrival by Brig. Gen. Irving L. Branch, commander of the test center in the Mojave Desert, Lockheed President Daniel J. Haughton and Vice President Clarence L. Johnson, and other high ranking military officials and aerospace executives. It was the first Presidential visit to Edwards Air Force Base since it was established 22 years earlier.
In the Monday, June 15, 1964 paper it was reported for the second time in a week two Louisville and Nashville freight trains were reported as having sideswiped at the “south switch” in Kennesaw just west of the Four-Lane Highway, now known as U.S. Hwy. 41. The two diesel-drawn L&N freights smacked together at the same location where a similar accident occurred four days earlier. The first sideswipe resulted in the death of an engineer, who was killed when the 100-ton diesel engine toppled over on him. In the second sideswipe, the southbound train, No. 831, struck the northbound train, Second No. 2, sending tank and box cars in every direction. Some cars were knocked 100 feet off the tracks. The south switch was a point where the main line ran off about a mile south of Kennesaw.
A 4-month-old baby boy wrapped in a white blanket was reported in the Tuesday, June 14, 1964 paper as having been found before dawn wiggling and crying in the front seat of a car parked on Freyer Drive. The child was found by a paperboy who heard the child’s cries and went to investigate.
Later that week, on Thursday, June 18, 1964, it was reported that a three-day old baby snatched from his mother’s arms in back in April in a Chicago hospital could possibly be the one found abandoned in Marietta. A woman disguised as a nurse snatched the boy from his mother as she was feeding him in a Chicago maternity hospital. Marietta Police and the FBI were reported as seeking more information on the case.
The following day, Friday, June 19, 1964, there was a story stating that police were waiting on the results of a blood test to determine if the abandoned infant was the kidnapped child in Chicago. Marietta Police said it was a one in a million chance the two babies were the same, but the possibility was being thoroughly checked out.
The Air Force announced in the Wednesday, June 17, 1964 paper that it had signed a “multi-year” contract with Lockheed-Georgia Company for approximately $500 million for purchase of 127 C-141 StarLifter aircraft. The planes, which Lockheed had been working on while negotiations were taking place, brought the total Air Force contract for StarLifters to 132. The contract, announced by the Aeronautical Systems Division Headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, inaugurated a new concept of multi-year procurements designed to save money and improve control of the Air Force’s weapon systems procurement.
20 years ago …
In the Monday, June 13, 1994 MDJ it was reported that Pat Hussein, co-chair of the Atlanta gay-activist group – Olympics Out of Cobb, vowed to more than 130,000 gay rights supporters during intermittent rain in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to make a national issue out of Cobb County’s resolution critical of the gay lifestyle. The effort was to be aimed at persuading officials of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to pull preliminary volleyball from the county-owned Cobb Galleria Centre. The rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd whose members carried signs, one of which said - “Olympics in Cobb – The Worst Idea since New Coke.” The rally in Piedmont Park followed a march from the Atlanta Civic Center to close out Gay Pride Week, an annual celebration of gay rights.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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