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Today in Johnson City History: October 29

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Oct 29, 2019 at 7:30 AM

Oct. 29, 1885: The Comet suggested that the young people of Johnson City get up a spelling bee. “It would be an entertaining and amusing recreation, and would besides be very improving. Mr. Martin Gump says the young men are ready to enter a spelling contest with the young ladies at a moments notice. We hope the challenge will be accepted though we expect to put up our money on Martin.”

Oct. 29, 1891: The new school buildings were being put up rapidly. Columbus Powell (at the corner of South Roan and East Pine streets) and Martha Wilder (corner of Myrtle and New) were the city’s first elementary schools. Both have since demolished, although the second Columbus Powell building erected on the adjacent lot remains.

Oct. 29, 1956: Thomas Dewey spoke at an East Tennessee State College rally on behalf of an Eisenhower-Nixon campaign ticket. Dewey, a former New York governor, was the Republican nominee in 1944, losing to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and again in 1948, losing to President Harry S. Truman. The latter race lives in infamy, as the Chicago Daily Tribune printed the banner headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" before the results were totaled.

Oct. 29, 1976: Blue Oyster Cult played at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Oct. 29, 2009: Senior Armando Canepa rushed 22 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns, helping Science Hill conclude the season with a 35-14 victory at Sullivan Central. The Hilltoppers got 208 yards passing and three TDs through the air from sophomore quarterback Justin Snyder. The team finished 3-4 in the Big Eight Conference and 4-6 overall.

Sources: Greater Johnson City A Pictorial History; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall; Johnson City Press

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