MDJ Time Capsule: The Week of February 28th
by Damon Poirier
February 28, 2013 04:35 PM | 1587 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at Marietta’s Civil War cannons at the Capitol, the death of a local businessman and how for the first-time registered black voters outnumbered whites in a Marietta ward.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, Feb. 28, 1913 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier there was an entire front page ad for W.A. Florence, which had recently opened between Schilling’s and the Fowler Bros. Stores on the Marietta Square. The new store offered dress goods, laces and embroideries, shoes, neckwear and hosiery. Some of the advertised opening sales included 43 black silk petticoats for 39 cents, dotted and striped madras shirts for 15 cents and 25 dozen ladies handkerchiefs for five cents.

Another story that week was about the two old cannons captured by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman from the Georgia Military Academy in Marietta during the Civil War. The cannons were removed from Grant Park in Atlanta and mounted at the northern entrance of the Capitol. The cannons were originally loaned to the City of Atlanta by Gen. John B. Gordon while he was governor.

50 years ago …

Prospects dimmed considerably for a merger of retail and wholesale water systems in Cobb County after a concerted opposition arose from the 90-person crowd at a public hearing in Marietta. The death blow to the proposed merger of the Cobb-Marietta Water Authority, reported in the Sunday, Feb. 24, 1963 MDJ, was dealt by Rep. Joe Mack Wilson who said that he was not sold on the idea. Without his support, the five-man Cobb delegation could not pass the measure since unanimous consent was required.

The death of local businessman Joe E. Groover was on the front page of the Monday, Feb. 25, 1963 paper. Groover who had been in business on the Marietta Square for over 60 years died at the age of 85. A member of a pioneer Cobb family, he founded Groover Hardware Co. at the intersection of Atlanta Street and Washington Avenue.

The Cobb Bar Association also that day was reported as having approved proposed legislation which would create a special countywide court using five-member juries to settle misdemeanor and routine civil cases. Officials said such a court would take a load of routine matters off the county’s two Superior Courts.

Vandals broke the canopy to the cockpit of Marietta’s jet trainer plane at the Marietta Motel on U.S. 41 and tore out the instruments, according to the Tuesday, Feb. 26, 1963 paper. The Lockheed aircraft was given to the city by the Navy through an act of Congress and was scheduled to be mounted on tall poles in a diving position along U.S. 41.

Also that day, the Cobb-Marietta Library Board took under consideration a request that it provide 70 percent of the out-of-pocket monthly operating expenses for the Sweetwater Valley public library in Austell. The request asked that the board include a sum in its 1963-64 budget to provide a maximum of $250 a month to the library’s monthly expenses. The Austell library personnel said that only 23 percent of its patrons were from Austell, while the remainder came from unincorporated areas near Mableton, Powder Springs and Clarkdale.

In the Wednesday, Feb. 27, 1963 paper it was reported that for the first time in Marietta’s history, black voter registration in Ward Six had exceeded the number of white voters. The ward, which was bounded roughly by Lemon, Cherokee and Roswell streets, showed 884 black voters and 378 white voters.

20 years ago …

Flying units at Dobbins Air Reserve Base were to be spared the budget ax that was expected to fall heavily on other military installation across the nation, according to a report obtained by the newspaper and published in the Monday, Feb. 22, 1993 MDJ. The report, titled “Report on the Roles, Missions and Functions of Armed Forces of the United States,” was released by Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It called for savings in manpower and operating costs “by eliminating or sharply reducing the 12 Air National Guard interceptor squadrons dedicated solely” to continental air defense.

Also that day, there was a story about a gas war in the county where two Citgos and a QuickTrip were selling unleaded gasoline for less than 80 cents a gallon.

Cobb Schools Superintendent Dr. Arthur Steller was out of a job after the Cobb County School Board voted 7-0 not to renew his contract in the Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1993 paper. The meeting was called by school board chairwoman Anne Brady after Dr. Steller met with district employees and the media to discuss an Oklahoma state audit released the previous week that said over $200,000 in payments made to Dr. Steller during his 7½-year tenure as Oklahoma City Schools superintendent might be illegal.

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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