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Today in Johnson City History: December 22

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Dec 22, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Dec. 22, 1887: Science Hill Institute had closed because the principal, Prof. McCallie, thought he could get a better- paying school elsewhere, while the trustees were convinced they could get a better teacher and disciplinarian elsewhere.

Dec. 22, 1910: Johnson City had been picked for the post office in Tennessee for testing the postal savings bank system. Only one office would be involved in testing per state. The postal banking system was signed into law by President William Howard Taft and was in effect from January 1, 1911, until July 1, 1967.

Dec. 22, 1928: State highway officials announced that contracts would be awarded the following week for the construction of an 8-mile stretch in Sullivan County for State Highway 36, the new highway between Johnson City and Kingsport.

Dec. 22, 1947: An early morning fire gutted the building and destroyed stock of Fields, Inc., a Fountain Square clothing and hardware store at 104 E. Main St. The fire was so stubborn that It was necessary to call for assistance from the Kingsport and Elizabethton fire departments. For a time, the entire block was threatened as the flames spread over the building. The building was renovated in 1953. Today, it is home to law offices.

Dec. 22, 1975: Tennessee Gov. Ray Blanton expressed hopes that Appalachian Regional Commission funding would be approved for East Tennessee State University’s fledgling medical school.

Dec. 22, 2006: ETSU President Paul Stanton announced support for restoring the university’s intercollegiate football program if it could be self-sustaining, which was contingent in part upon a student referendum for increased activity fees. That effort failed, but the university finally brought football back in 2015 after a 12-year hiatus.

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

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