Friday, June 27, 2008

"Today in Fayetteville" April 28, 1933

Fayetteville's famous courthouse clock gets face lift, April 28, 1933
From "The Fayetteville Enterprise" April 28, 1933. "Our venerable city clock is smiling brightly these days under a new coat of paint, recently applied by a steeple-jack under the direction of the county.
Commissioners Burch, Jackson and Jenkins. The faithful old timepiece, which has ticked away the seconds with consistent regularity for these many years, although somewhat unreliable about the business of striking the hours, was considerable weather-beaten and disfigured by the actions of the elements. Now each numeral is plainly visible from almost any point in the city. We congratulate the Commissioners on the appearance of the clock."

article by Betty Ann Sims
submitted by:
CB Glover

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Kansas City Massacre

HH Note: This article is one of a series released by the FBI as they celebrate their 100th anniversary. Thanks, G-men. America is better because of you.

The sun rose on June 17, 1933—75 years ago Tuesday—just like any other spring day in America’s heartland. But outside a massive train station in Kansas City, Missouri, a grand tragedy was about to unfold.

Shortly after 7 a.m., a sudden burst of gunfire erupted outside the east entrance of Union Station. Its target was a troupe of lawmen who had just loaded escaped bank robber Frank “Jelly” Nash into a two-door Chevrolet, preparing to return him to nearby Leavenworth prison.

Within seconds, two Kansas City police officers, an Oklahoma police chief named Otto Reed, and Bureau Special Agent Ray Caffrey had been murdered—along with Nash himself. Another two agents inside the car survived by slumping forward and pretending to be dead. Kansas City Special Agent in Charge Reed Vetterli, who had been standing near the front of the car, miraculously escaped with only a flesh wound. An officer who responded from inside the station fired at the escaping killers, but they got away.

This brazen slaughter by submachine gun came to be called “The Kansas City Massacre,” and it turned into one of the early Bureau’s most important investigations, leading to a massive manhunt for the culprits and ultimately helping the agency gain new law enforcement powers.

Who did it and why? That’s what we aimed to find out. It was tough going in the early days, with few solid leads and the recollections of surviving lawmen and witnesses less than clear.

Ultimately, the evidence pointed to a bank robber and underworld assassin named Verne Miller as the leader of the plot. Miller was a good friend of Nash, and Nash’s wife had contacted the gunman to help spring her husband after he was arrested the day before the massacre.

Miller raced to Kansas City, but he realized he needed help to free his friend. There, he was apparently introduced to Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, a notorious bank robber on the run, and his confederate Adam Richetti. It was these three men, we concluded, who had carried out the crime.

The first priority was to find Miller. In October, agents traced him to the apartment of his girlfriend Vivian Mathias in Chicago. Miller escaped, but Mathias was captured and later pled guilty to harboring the fugitive. A month later, on November 29, the search came to an end when Miller turned up dead in a ditch near Detroit, Michigan, a victim of a dispute with the New Jersey underworld.

Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd and Frank “Jelly” Nash

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd (left) and Frank "Jelly" Nash

We then turned our full attention to finding Floyd and Richetti. The two men, we learned, had been traveling with a pair of women. On October 20, 1934, the four were driving in Ohio when Floyd crashed into a telephone pole. While the women took the car into the nearby town of Wellsville for repairs, Richetti and Floyd were spotted by local police and ended up in a firefight. Richetti was quickly captured, but Floyd got away. Two days later, Bureau agents and local authorities tracked Floyd to a farm near Clarkson, Ohio, where he was shot and killed.

The Kansas City Massacre was a dark chapter for law enforcement and for the FBI in particular—at that time, one of the deadliest attacks on the law the nation had ever seen. Within a year of the tragedy, Congress responded by giving us new tools to fight crime—including statutory authority to carry guns and make arrests, both of which have been pillars in our work to protect the nation ever since.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

State’s Statistical Register Goes Online

Curious about how many votes George Busbee received when he ran for governor in 1974? Wondering how many times Mickey Mouse has been written in as a candidate for office? Answers to those questions and a plethora of others are available via computer now that the Georgia Official and Statistical Register is available online. It contains a wealth of information not easily accessible elsewhere for today’s historians.

The register is the main source of election statistics for the state. Its content and length have varied over the years of its publication (1923 -1990), though in general the register has provided information on categories such as:

- state executive offices, boards and commissions

- the state legislature and legislators, including short biographies with photos

- elections

- the state judiciary

- Georgia's federal representation

- the University System of Georgia

- county officers and data

- miscellaneous (e.g. flag, song, state symbols, poets laureate)

The electronic version was digitized by the Digital Library of Georgia from the print volumes, which are available in the UGA main library Georgia government documents collection. Users are able to search across the text of all the volumes (about 28,000 pages). The register can be accessed at

“The register has become an historical resource of particular interest to genealogists, but it also lists, for example, all the banks, public libraries and newspapers in each county and the poets laureates for the state,” said Susan Tuggle, a reference librarian who coordinates the Georgia government publications site in the Digital Library of Georgia. “It cumulates elected officials so you can see who was in office at a given time.”

Compiled every two years by the Georgia Archives (formerly the Department of Archives and History), it was not a handbook that explained the workings of the state government for the uninitiated, but rather a kind of directory or state of the state with a concentration on the officials who guided it.

Legislator and other official biographies included photos beginning in 1951. The amount of information was reducing starting with the 1979-1980 volume and the projected ended with the 1989-1990 volume.

“I’ve wanted to digitize it for years – it is the biggest project yet in the Georgia Government Publications Program, and it took more than a year to produce because we are offering it in three formats (JPG, PDF and DjVu),” Tuggle said.

Post-1990 information is best obtained from state government web sites and the Georgia Government Publications database at

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cyber-Surfing Gives Everyone Easy Access to History

(ARA) - History is making history on the World Wide Web. With a click of the mouse, lifelong historians and those who just caught the history bug are taking to the Internet in record numbers to explore its nearly limitless access to times gone by. Today, with our country engaged in war and Americans everywhere expressing their heartfelt appreciation of our armed services, it’s no surprise that military history sites are reporting unprecedented Web traffic.

A new online television network at is capturing its share of cyber-surfing history buffs with its vast collection of vintage and contemporary footage -- available 24 hours a day. Co-sponsored by the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., NAVY TV is organized like a traditional broadcast network with channels and episodes. The site also provides an interactive forum for the larger Navy community of active duty, veterans, civilian workers and families.

“There’s no doubt that our Navy film library is a key draw,” explains Jim Franco, CEO of EFX Media, co-sponsor of NAVY TV. “Our footage is extensive and increasing daily. For military history enthusiasts, we’re a one-stop treasure trove of top quality, classic Navy films such as ‘Operation Sunshine,’ a 1958 story about the USS Nautilus narrated by broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow.”

Rear Adm. Richard A. Buchanan, USN (Ret.), President and CEO of the Navy Memorial, invites all of the site’s visitors to register for e-mail alerts that herald important events in Navy history. “On June 4th,” he notes, “we reminded people about the landmark Battle of Midway, a turning point in World War II that marked the first Japanese naval defeat since 1592. When people clicked on the link we sent, they could watch an Academy Award-winning collection of footage that captured all the drama and heroism of that epic fight.”

Visitors regularly comment on the site’s historical selections. After watching “The Battle of Midway,” one user wrote, “People who love history will enjoy this video. It’s a long way from Jules Verne!”

Another popular page is “U.S. Navy Today,” featuring video shorts on ships, naval aviation, submarines, the medical community, special warfare and even the Navy Band. Straight from the fleet, these clips are created by the Navy and posted daily.

Since the site was launched last November, viewers have been posting comments, greetings and even their own videos. They use the site to tell their own Navy stories, find fellow shipmates and share memories.

For information about NAVY TV and to submit your own video, visit or call the United States Navy Memorial at (202) 737-2300.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Today in Fayetteville" January 9, 1891

Join me for another look into Fayetteville's past. Shopping could not be better in early 1891.
                          The Fayetteville News
                                January 9, 1891
                           Mules! Mules! Mules!
Another fine lot of Kentucky mules to arrive Monday. We will sell cheaper than any market in Georgia.
                                                            Blalock & Mitchell
The largest and most elegant line of dress goods ever brought to Fayetteville at Blalock's.
If you want a Buggy, don't by till you see us. We will sell you a first class vehicle cheaper than you can buy it any where else.                                     S.T. & A.O. Blalock
                               Sewing Machines
We have just received a fine assortment of celebrated White sewing Machines.
                                                        S.T. & A.O. Blalock
Celebrated Milburn and Tennessee wagons always on hand at Blalocks.
                                 Local News
Inman, Ga.- Inman is a boom town.  Dr. Weldon will soon have completed a large and commodious dwelling.
W.S. Starr's beautiful residence is nearly ready to be occupied. J.L. McLucas will in a few days move into his new house.
                      A Corpse with $5,000 in jewelry
The largest amount of jewelry known to be in a single grave was buried in Greenwood Cemetery several years ago. The undertaker protested against it, but was severely snubbed for his interference. The family had its way, and in that grave is buried, fully $5,000 worth of diamonds.
Jonesboro, Ga.- Our new hotel opened last week, but owing to inclement weather the opening ball was postponed. Mrs. R.W. Jones is the proprietress and that fact insures the success of the house.
submitted by CB Glover


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Speaker Murphy Exhibit Opens

The Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library at the University of West Georgia and the Georgia Humanities Council opened the exhibit, “Speaker Tom Murphy: Steady Leadership in Changing Times,” with guest Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson this week at the Dallas branch of the Paulding County Public Library. The exhibit is free and the community is invited to attend.

The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of June. The project is supported by the Georgia Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.

This summer, the Murphy exhibit will travel to various public libraries in the West Georgia Regional Library System before returning to UWG in November. Additional exhibit locations include the Heard County Public Library in Franklin in July, which will coordinate the exhibit with the community’s Chattahoochee Independence Day celebration.

In the months of August and September the exhibit will be at the William P. Sewell Public Library in Bremen and then travel to the Douglas County Public Library in Douglasville in October.

Murphy, who passed away in 2007, was the 69th Speaker of the House of Representatives. Born in Haralson County, Murphy graduated from Bremen High School and North Georgia College and received his law degree from the University of Georgia. Murphy was also a Navy veteran of World War II who saw combat action in the Pacific. He served as Speaker longer than anyone else in Georgia’s history and was the longest tenured Speaker in the United States when he left office.

Ingram Library’s proposed renovation includes the installation of a permanent exhibit of a replica of Speaker Murphy’s office. The development of the panel exhibit will allow the university to begin shaping a permanent exhibit to support the future office.

The Ingram Library developed the exhibit with the assistance of the Department of History, the Center for Public History and the Georgia Political Heritage Project. All are located on the UWG campus.

The Dallas branch in Paulding is located at 1010 E. Memorial Dr., Dallas. For more information, call 678-839-6350.

National Archives Hosts Genealogical Societies of Clayton and Henry Counties June 21

The Genealogical Society of Henry & Clayton Counties will be meeting at the National Archives in Morrow, GA at 10 AM on Saturday, June 21st. Two speakers will share information and delight members and visitors.

Mike Brubaker - The Magruder Collection

Mike Brubaker, an Archivist & the Genealogist at the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, Georgia, received his bachelor and masters degrees in Utah. He is the past Curator of Collections at Midway Village & Museum Center, 2007-2008 president of the Georgia Genealogical Society, a teacher at several local colleges and a researcher.

Mr. Brubaker will be telling of the wonderful genealogical holdings of the Atlanta History Center. One of the newest holdings, the Magruder Collection, a collection of newspapers, fills three dozen 2-by-3-foot boxes and includes some 3,400 issues of 244 publications dating to the 1800s. This amazing collection can open up to many genealogists, information unobtainable until now.

Betty English - Story Teller --"How to kill Grandma!"

Betty English, a native Atlantan, published author, marketing specialist, retired teacher, and Story Teller has lived and worked in both the US and Australia. A mother and grandmother, she has delighted audiences throughout the area with stories both true and fictional.

She will be sharing a wonderful story of "How to kill Grandma!" You will not want to miss this.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Machine Gun Kelly/G-men

HH Note: Take a look at this insight into a common nickname.

Mr. Schiff: Hi, welcome to "FBI 100, A Closer Look." I'm Neal Schiff of the Bureau's Office of Public Affairs along with FBI Historian Dr. John Fox. John, for years FBI Special Agents have been called G-men? When did that start?

Dr. Fox: "Well Neal it started somewhere in the early 1930s. G-men had been this term that was used kind of as criminal slang for a government agent. But with the arrest, as legend has it, with the arrest of Machine Gun Kelly on December 26th, 1933, that term started to be used exclusively for FBI agents."

Mr. Schiff: Tell us about Machine Gun Kelly?

Dr. Fox: "Kelly was a former bootlegger and he was turning to other crimes as prohibition was obviously coming to an end. One of them was kidnapping. He and a colleague named Albert Bates kidnapped a wealthy Oklahoman named Charles Urschel. He was in the oil business and Machine Gun Kelly, and especially his wife who is sometimes credited with being the brains of the operation, really felt that they could make a quick buck. They kidnapped Urschel; they hid him; eventually collected a ransom and let him go. Thanks to Urschel's memory though, the FBI was able to piece together the path that the kidnappers took to where they hid Urschel and the Bureau was able to begin to track Machine Gun Kelly down."

Mr. Schiff: What about the hunt for Kelly and how he was caught?

Dr. Fox: "With the help of a lot of other police, we tracked Kelly across several states. Eventually working with Tennessee police, we found him in Memphis. He was hiding out in a rooming house and when we entered, as legend has it, he threw up his hands and shouted, 'Don't shoot G-men, don't shoot.' Now, that seems to have been some press license in a story. Whether or not Kelly actually said something like that, chances are he probably didn't, but it was a legend that caught on. And as the FBI became more famous through the hunt for John Dillinger and the rest of the notorious gangsters of the day, the term G-men came to stick with FBI agents. And since then we've been known as the G-men."

Mr. Schiff: On July 26th this year, the FBI celebrates its 100th anniversary. Much more on the Internet at From the FBI's Public Affairs office, along with Bureau Historian Dr. John Fox, I'm Neal Schiff with "FBI 100, A Closer Look."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Clayton State Biology Professor to Appear on History Channel Series

Dr. Jared Taglialatela, a research associate at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and new assistant professor of biology at Clayton State University, will appear in a new series, Evolve, on The History Channel.

The new History Channel Series will feature 13 episodes and will air summer 2008. Each episode will discuss features and behaviors and how each has evolved in modern animals. Taglialatela will be featured in an episode covering the evolution of communication.

Taglialatela was most recently a lead researcher on a study involving the use of positron emission tomography (PET) to monitor the brain activity of chimpanzees during communicative behavior with results indicating a close relationship to humans.

This study, co-authored by Taglialatela, was published in the journal, Current Biology in March 2008. It was partially presented at the “Mind of the Chimpanzee” conference in Chicago, in March 2007.

Earlier this year, he organized a workshop on ape communication that was held at the Seventh Evolution of Language Conference held in Barcelona, Spain. Taglialatela also provided introductory remarks at the workshop.

Taglialatela’s History Channel segment was filmed on Clayton State University campus on June 5. An air date for the episode featuring Taglialatela is still to be determined.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fayetteville SAR Members March in DC on Memorial Day

Adjutant for the SAR National Color Guard Mike Tomme was in Washington DC on Memorial Day and participated in that city's parade. Tomme is a member of the Marquis de Lafayette Chapter Sons of the American Revolution Chapter in Fayetteville.