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Today in Johnson City History: December 9

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Dec 9, 2019 at 6:30 AM

Dec. 9, 1897: The Comet reported that its editor, Cyrus H. Lyle, was “as proud over his election as magistrate as a little four-year old boy over his first pair of red topped boots.”

Dec. 9, 1909: Banner headline on The Comet’s front page: “JOHNSON CITY SELECTION FOR NORMAL SITE.” The state had selected Johnson City as the location for a teacher training school — today’s East Tennessee State University.

Dec. 9, 1947: Science Hill High School opened basketball season with new coach Sidney Smallwood against Lamar. Smallwood coached the team for 10 years before he was named the school’s athletic director. He briefly was Johnson City Schools superintendent before his retirement in 1978. Smallwood died in 2014 at age 98.

Dec. 9, 1968: All of East Tennessee’s tobacco markets exceeded the previous week’s state average with Johnson City leading the way. At the Johnson City market, 421,188 pounds brought $315,477.22, an average of 74.90, 91 cents ahead of the state average.

Dec. 9, 2009: Johnson City experienced what the Johnson City Power Board called one of the worst systemwide power outages in years due to the high-speed wind gusts that swept through the region Wednesday. The outages were the worst since Johnson City experienced a blizzard in 1998. The storms uprooted large trees, brought down traffic lights and power lines and collapsed a warehouse wall on site of what later became Founders Park.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Press-Chronicle/Johnson City Press; Kingsport Times; Johnson City Press

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