MDJ Time Capsule: The Week of December 20
by Damon Poirier
December 19, 2012 12:15 PM | 261 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at a pair of bold robberies and a jail break by a career escape artist.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Dec. 20, 1912 Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a story about how the newspaper had installed a Standard Mergenthaler Linotype machine at its offices. The machine, also called a type-setting machine, was operated by one man and could set as much type as seven or eight men.

50 years ago …

Marietta public schools, according to the Sunday, Dec. 16, 1962 MDJ, were expecting to lose $143,000 a year in federal funds if Congress allowed a law providing aid to “impacted areas” to expire at the end of June 1963. The funds comprised 11-percent of the city school budget.

In the Monday, Dec. 17, 1962 paper, thieves reportedly battered their way through a wall of a service station to steal $469. Police said the hole was torn through a sheet-rock wall of an outside restroom at the Marietta Oil Company on Powder Springs Street.

The Lockheed-Georgia Co., according to the Tuesday, Dec. 18, 1962 paper, paid its county taxes and was the biggest single payment in Cobb’s history for the second year in a row. Lockheed paid with a check for $550,140.02.

The previous year’s check was $547,510.34. Company spokesmen said the increase was due to taxes on commercial JetStars, exports of aircraft and parts, and new fixed assets.

Also that day, it was reported that Kennesaw City Councilman James Adams, who decided not to seek re-election in order to run for the mayor’s post, unseated Mayor Hugh Brinkley 287 to 233 in the city-wide election the day before.

In the Wednesday, Dec. 19, 1962 paper, auto safety seat belts were being installed in all county police and sheriff’s vehicles as the result of a near-fatal crash in which two Cobb police officers were injured on Dec. 8. In that incident, a patrolman was thrown partially through the windshield of a county police car when the vehicle wrecked while chasing another car on Bankhead Highway.

Thieves, reported in the Thursday, Dec. 20, 1962 paper, ripped open a safe at the Cobb County tax office in the pre-dawn hours and fled with an estimated $8,000 in cash and thousands more in checks. This was the fourth safe raided in Marietta in the past two weeks.

A career escape artist, whose parole was revoked when he was charged in a Cobb robbery 18 months earlier, was reported in the Friday, Dec. 21, 1962 paper, as having made his ninth break for freedom. The convict and three other prisoners threatened an unarmed guard at the Meriwether County prison camp in Warm Springs, took keys to a prison truck and escaped.

20 years ago …

Cobb police officials in the Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1992 MDJ, refused comment on a TV station’s report that police had questioned a former business associate of east Cobb tax lawyer Fred Tokars in connection with the Nov. 29 slaying of Tokars’ wife, Sara.

A story broadcast by WXIA-Channel 11 in Atlanta said the man had been arrested on a bad-check warrant and subsequently was being questioned about the murder. Quoting an anonymous source, WXIA reported that prior to Sara Tokars’ slaying, the man had tried to hire a hit man for a friend.

Also that day, Watergate player John Ehrlichman of Sandy Springs, a former advisor to President Richard Nixon, took shots at President-elect Bill Clinton’s choice of cabinet members in a speech before the Marietta Kiwanis Club at Jimmy’s On The Square.

Topping Ehrlichman’s list of poor choices was Rep. Leon Panetta, D-Calif., chosen by Clinton to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. Currently, Panetta serves as the U.S. Defense Secretary under President Barack Obama.

In the Sunday, Dec. 20, 1992 paper, there was a story about the arrest of a Marietta woman who had been waiting to have her child photographed with Santa Claus. The woman was held in the Smyrna jail on an aggravated assault charge after a gun in her purse was accidentally fired and shot another parent waiting in line.

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 mariettadaily@newsbank.com. 

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