This week’s Time Capsule looks at small pox, a fire, botched heists, Lockheed layoffs and an officer shooting.
100 years ago …
In Friday, April 3, 1914 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, the front page reported a warning from the Board of Health regarding small pox. The article stated that any community can rid itself of the disease in 30 days by isolating every case, thoroughly fumigating the infected premises and vaccinating every individual in the community. The story also mentioned that the Atlanta Board of Health had published that 900 cases were recently treated, but only 10 of the people had been vaccinated.
Small pox, or the red plague, was a lethal infectious disease of the small blood vessels located in the skin, mouth and throat. In the skin, the disease manifested as a rash and later blisters. The disease was believed to be responsible for an estimated 300 to 500 million deaths during the 20th century. Fortunately, after successful vaccination campaigns in the 19th and 20th centuries, the World Health Organization (WHO) certified the eradication of the disease in 1979.
Also that week the front page held an ad for The Swiss Bell Ringers, a one day only show that was billed as “The Biggest Treat Ever Offered to the People of Marietta” and “The Most Expensive Act Ever Brought to The Gem Theatre.” Admission for the 2:30 p.m. show was 10-cents, the 4 p.m. show was 20-cents and the 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows were 25-cents.
50 years ago …
In the Sunday, March 29, 1964 Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that the president of the Georgia Gold Star Mothers said the Army refused to supply a color guard for their State convention in May because there were no blacks in the organization.
A fire, apparently the handiwork of vandals, was reported in the Monday, March 30, 1964 paper as having razed the historic Sope Creek covered bridge before dawn on Easter Sunday and left a smoldering pile of tin and blackened beams in the creek bed. The fire was discovered by a motorist who was heading home from a party just as he rounded the curve before the bridge. Later that week, in the Wednesday, April 1, 1964 paper, it was reported that a $500 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals responsible for the fire.
Cobb County residents were reported in the Tuesday, March 31, 1964 paper as having flocked to buy the 1964 vehicle license plates on the day before the April 1 deadline. Throughout the morning a single file line serpentine from the tag office behind the courthouse down Lawrence Street with cars parked along Lawrence out to the post office. In the Thursday, April 2, 1964 paper, it was reported that 62,240 vehicle license plates were bought, which was 7,000 more than 1963.
Also that Thursday, lawmen searched Cobb and the surrounding counties for a would-be robber after his bold, patient plan to hold up the Bank of Acworth went astray. The bandit – wearing a pillow case with eye, nose and mouth slits for a mask – broke into the bank through the back door during the night and waited to accost the first employee reporting for work. But, the bandit – who was crouched behind a cabinet and facing the front door - was surprised by an employee entering at the rear entrance. The employee fled after the bandit pointed a large pistol him. Officers later found the pillow case tossed aside behind the bank.
The following day, Friday, April 5, 1964, the paper reported that burglars lugged a 500-pound safe down a flight of stairs at the Georgia Power Company’s Smyrna office before dawn. Officers on patrol drove around the building and discovered the safe in a panel truck ready to leave, but the burglars had fled. Bloodhounds were brought in to search the area, but failed to pick up on a trail. The manager of the office said that the effort wasn’t worth the gain since there was only $200-$300 dollars inside.
20 years ago …
Thunderstorms and tornadoes were reported in the Monday, March 28, 1994 MDJ as having killed at least 15 people in north Georgia. Cobb County was spared the brunt of the storms, but warning sirens wailed throughout the afternoon and evening as heavy winds, rain and hail swept through the county. A funnel cloud was spotted eight miles west of Powder Springs at 7:30 p.m., then another at 8:15 p.m. five miles north of Kennesaw and another at 9:31 p.m. near McCollum Field in Kennesaw.
In the Wednesday, March 30, 1994 paper, it was reported that Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co. announced plans to lay off more than 2,000 of its 11,700 workers by the end of 1995, citing declining sales of the mainstay project, the C-130 Hercules transport. Cobb County was expected to suffer a $70 million local economic loss as a result of the layoffs.
A veteran Cobb Police officer and his rookie partner were reported in the Thursday, March 31, 1994 paper as being wounded in a pre-dawn shootout after checking a parked car in a secluded area of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. The 32-year-old man killed in the shootout was described as having trouble keeping jobs, often depressed and had a fascination with weapons and the military. A close friend of the assailant stated that he was convinced it was a desperate act of suicide.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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