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Today in Johnson City History: Aug. 13

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Aug 13, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Aug. 13, 1885: The Comet reported that a “young tornado” had visited several sections of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. It struck Johnson City the previous Sunday, causing considerable damage to trees and cornfields. “Our town looked the next morning like it had been struck with a boomerang.”

Aug. 13, 1913: U.S. Rep. Sam R. Sells announced his intentions to seek a second term in Congress. The Johnson City lumberman was successful in that bid and went on to serve a total of five terms. He lost his party’s nomination in 1920 to B. Carroll Reece. Sells resumed his lumber business in Johnson City and later added brick manufacturing. He died in 1935 at age 64. He is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in downtown Johnson City.

Aug.13, 1969: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported that Centennial Day would be held at the Appalachian District Fair on Aug. 16. In addition, the article gave a call for entries for men with beards for the “Hairiest of the Fair,” another Centennial activity.

Aug. 13, 2009: Doug and Judy Lowrie, who split time between here and Florida, announced a gift of $1 million to Niswonger Children’s Hospital. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the new hospital was to be named in their honor.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Johnson City Press

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