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Today in Johnson City History: May 1

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • May 1, 2019 at 7:45 AM

May 1, 1886: The Bank of Johnson City opened on the corner of Main Street and the public square.

May 1, 1895: The Johnson City Public Library opened. It was a subscription library. The 45 members paid $1 per year to belong, amounting to about $30 today.

May 1, 1957: A state fire marshal was in Johnson City to investigate a dynamite explosion that killed a glass plant worker in Sulphur Springs. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department were also probing the death of Everett Jenkins, 35, who was killed when his car blew up as he started the ignition to leave for work. A passenger, Virgil Price, managed to escape serious injury. Jenkins worked at Kingsport’s Blue Ridge Glass Corp., which was embroiled in a strike by the United Glass and Ceramic Workers union. Blue Ridge offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Jenkins’ wife Sue, and her lover, J. Lloyd Jones, were later charged with the crime. A grand jury did not indict Jones, and Mrs. Jenkins was acquitted that October.

May 1, 1980: John Denver performed at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Sources: History of Washington County Tennessee; Johnson City Public Library; Kingsport Times; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall.

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