MDJ Time Capsule: The Week of Sept. 5th
This week Time Capsule looks at a monument to Mary Phagan, the un-incorporation of the Elizabeth community, Kennesaw’s curfew and Fred Tokars’ not guilty verdict.
100 years ago …
In Friday, Sept. 5, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the entire front page was taken up with an exact reproduction of the Commission Government Bill that was to be submitted to Marietta voters on Nov. 11, 1913. The bill would repeal the acts creating Boards of Lights, Waterworks and Sewerage to create a new charter and government for the City of Marietta under a Board of Commissioners. The bill was passed through the last session of the Legislature and signed on Aug. 20 by Gov. John M. Slaton.
Another story in that edition reported that a meeting of the Marietta Camp 763 of the United Confederate Veterans unanimously adopted a resolution to contribute money from the camp treasury to fund the building of a monument to the memory of Marietta’s murdered “Little” Mary Phagan. The story talked about raising a white marble shaft in memory of the girl’s nobility and purity. It also mentioned a Dalton Citizen writer expressing a desire to see the “unfortunate child reproduced in marble in her agony.” But, the Journal and Courier author wrote that “… we would prefer to see her in beauty and happiness, if a statue is made to stand over her grave in our Marietta cemetery. The awful story of her death needs no marble to keep it in the memories of the living.”
50 years ago …
The Marietta Housing Authority’s purchase of an 80-acre tract of land northwest of the city for development as a housing subdivision for blacks was reported as upheld by Cobb Superior Court Judge James T. Manning in the Friday, Aug. 30, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal. In a companion decision, Judge Manning ruled that an 1883 act of the General Assembly incorporating the Town of Elizabeth was invalid and ineffective. The decision was handed down after two days of testimony in the cases.
In the Sunday, Sept. 1, 1963 paper, there was a front page aerial photograph showing construction progress on Interstate 75 and the Atlanta Perimeter Highway in Cobb County over the Chattahoochee River where the two highways met in a huge interchange.
Cobb County’s 1963 property tax rate was reported in the Tuesday, Sept. 2, 1963 paper as being officially set at 35.75 mills. The new charge was more than 36 percent lower than the 1962 rate.
The Kennesaw City Council was reported in the Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1963 paper as unanimously passing a new city curfew ordinance that was designed to end an “undeclared war” raging between city officials and Kennesaw teens. The action, which forced all minors off city streets after 11 p.m., came after two weeks of complaints from city residents about “gangs of roving teenagers,” shouting profanity and destroying public property.
20 years ago …
In the Tuesday, Aug. 31, 1993 MDJ, despite a call from local gay activists urging them to honor a boycott of Cobb County, the Georgia Special Olympics officials selected the county as the site for their 1994 Winter Games.
Also that day, Fred Tokars was reported as pleading not guilty in U.S. Magistrate Court in Atlanta to federal charges that he conspired to kill his wife in order to protect the interests of a money-laundering operation that he allegedly helped build. During the brief arraignment before Judge William L. Harper, the former east Cobb resident declined to have federal prosecutors publicly read charges contained in a 16-count indictment. Tokars, looking disheveled while wearing a suit and tie, listened as Assistant U.S. Attorney Wilmer “Buddy” Parker III recommended that Judge Harper keep him in federal custody without bail.
In the MDJ’s front page Opinion Poll results in the Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1993 paper, a majority of Cobb residents were reported as believing the county commission’s resolution condemning the gay lifestyle had hurt the community’s image, although they agreed with the decision to cancel subsidies to the arts.
Another story that day, reported U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, who recently returned from a trip to the Balkans and Mediterranean area, said he would recommend that President Bill Clinton authorize attacks against nuclear weapon facilities in Iran and North Korea. The east Cobb Republican also was expected to ask President Clinton to send up to 30,000 U.S. troops to the violence-torn Balkans as part of a 90,000 member NATO force.
In the Thursday, Sept. 2, 1993 paper, there was a story about how three years after the Blair Aluminum Furniture Co. closed its historic but run-down factory, an Atlanta developer had unveiled plans to turn it into an $11 million office park. The proposed three-phase development centered around renovating and re-using the five buildings on 7½ acres overlooking North Marietta Parkway for a 126,250 square foot office park with the added possibility of specialty shops and a restaurant.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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