MDJ Time Capsule: The Week of Dec. 26
This week’s Time Capsule looks at broken arms, a mayor’s salary, prayer and a limousine war.
100 years ago …
In Friday, Dec. 26, 1913 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the front page reported that following the resignation of Fulton National Bank of Atlanta vice president Julius Bashinski that former cashier A.B. Simms had taken his position. Also in the general shifting of positions, Ryburn Clay – son of the late Sen. A.S. Clay, was promoted to the position of assistant cashier. Clay’s promotion came as a wedding present since he was to be married the following week to a woman from Boston, Mass.
Also that week the front page reported three broken arms within four days. The first was a Marietta man broke his right arm while playing football in Atlanta, while two other Marietta men broke their right arms while cranking their automobiles.
50 years ago …
In the Friday, Dec. 20, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal, Sheriff Kermit Sanders was reported saying that the night watch man at the Crescent Park Skating Rink on Austell Road was found dead on the floor of the manager’s office with a large gash in the back of his head. The wound was presumed to be from a fall or a blow from a heavy instrument. Based on blood found on the walls in the restroom, authorities said that the incident happened there and the victim stumbled into the office. Sheriff Sanders said nothing was missing and robbery was ruled out as a possible cause for the death.
Also that day, Marietta Mayor-Elect Howard Atherton Jr. was reported as not being satisfied with the mayor’s salary and was going to ask for a reduction when he took office in January. Atherton wanted the pay cut from $616.67 per month to $300. The mayor’s duties were also being slashed. Keeping a campaign promise, Atherton’s administration switched over to a city manager form of government, where the city manager would take over all administrative duties. The mayor’s duties would now be to serve as the ceremonial representative of the city, preside over all city council meetings and serve as chairman of the City Board of Lights and Water.
The principal of Lucius D. Clay Elementary School was reported killed in the Monday, Dec. 23, 1963 paper in a wreck at Due West and Mars Hill Roads. He was the third fatality in the county in three weeks and the 32nd of the year. The wreck occurred when a 16-year-old driver skidded through a stop sign and struck the principal’s car. After being hit, the car went into a four-foot deep ditch, flipped once in the air and landed on its wheels. The principal’s four-year-old son survived the incident and was treated for head injuries and a broken leg at Kennestone Hospital.
In the Tuesday, Dec. 24, 1963 paper, it was reported that the creation of a new fire district in the Acworth area and expansion of five existing districts drew lop-sided voter approval in a series of referendums through Cobb County. Voting in the Gritters area failed to produce approval for a new fire district there. Last minute Christmas shopping, bad weather and icy roads were blamed for keeping voters away from the polls. A total of only 799 people cast ballots in the seven referendums.
20 years ago …
The American Civil Liberties Union was reported in the Tuesday, Dec. 21, 1993 MDJ as having threatened to sue Cobb and Henry counties unless their county commissioners halted long-time practices of praying before board meetings. Volunteer lawyers for the ACLU wrote Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne on Dec. 13, threatening legal action if the board didn’t suspend “sectarian prayer at the beginning of each commission meeting.” ACLU volunteer attorney Kelly Brown, a first-year lawyer with an Atlanta publishing firm, said in letters to Byrne that county money used for prayers at commission meetings was unconstitutional. She cited as examples the county’s validation of parking tickets for visiting ministers who deliver the prayer and sending thank-you notes to them on official county stationary. The following day, it was reported that Cobb’s five commissioners said they would oppose any efforts by the ACLU to stop prayer before board meetings and that they believed the ACLU did not have the right to tell them if they could pray before meetings.
In the Thursday, Dec. 23, 1993 paper, it was reported that Cobb commissioners said they were ready to launch a counter-attack against Atlanta in what had been termed a metro-area “limousine war.” Cobb and several other metro area governments had lost patience with the “aggressive tactics” of the Atlanta Bureau of Taxicabs and Vehicles for Hire. Their impatience was fueled by the passage of the Atlanta City Council’s ordinance requiring out-of-city limousine companies to pay between $650 and $750 per car and driver for licenses to operate within Atlanta’s city limits. Cobb officials were reported as talking quietly with Gwinnett and Clayton counties along with several municipalities about establishing a limousine-services zone that would provide competitive advantages to companies based within it – at the expense of Atlanta-based limo businesses.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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