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Today in Johnson City History: February 11

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Updated Feb 10, 2020 at 8:07 PM

Feb. 11, 1872: James M. Beckett, a lay minister, preached and attended to fellowship and breaking of the loaf at First Christian Church. This was prior to the church having a regular minister. Brother Beckett and his family were charter members of First Christian.

Feb. 11, 1915: The Comet reported that the task of building the northern extension of the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio railway, between Dante, Virginia, and the Chesapeake and Ohio connection at Elkhorn City, Kentucky, had been completed except the formal function of driving the last spike. The expectation was that the ceremony of driving that final spike would take place within the week. Many tunnels had to be formed for the 40-mile extension; the longest tunnel was 8,000 feet long.

Feb. 11, 1928: Work had begun on the Johnson City-Elizabethton Highway, which was in part prompted by the construction of the American Glanzstoff textile factory in Elizabethton, which also had just entered construction. Known originally as the Glanzstoff Highway, the road is now East Main Street and Tenn. Highway 91.

Feb. 11, 1951: New Memorial Hospital, “the $1.3 million pride of Johnson City and Washington County,” was dedicated by Tennessee Gov. Gordon Browning with a ceremony in the Junior High auditorium.

Feb. 11, 1954: The Langston High School girls continued their undefeated ways with a 41-28 victory against Kingsport-Douglass. A player named Woods picked up 21 points for the Golden Tigers.

Feb. 11, 1969: The Tennessee Theatre was packed for the noon session of the Johnson City Preaching Mission. Bishop Earl Hunt was the speaker. Dr. Elton Trueblood spoke at the evening session in Memorial Gymnasium at East Tennessee State University.

Feb. 11, 1975: The Hilltoppers defeated the Daniel Boone Trailblazers 41-34. Billy Wise, a 6-4 center, led Johnson City with 14 points and kept them in control of the game.

Feb. 11, 1990: Less than two months after a Christmas Eve fire swept their home, killing 16 people, former residents of the John Sevier Center gathered at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel (now Holiday Inn) for a reunion. “It’s good to be here. It’s good to be able to be here,” Jean Brewer told her fellow survivors.

Feb. 11, 2006: Former ETSU cheerleader Kimberly Sams spoke with the Johnson City Press about the 15 minutes of fame she received after telling the newspaper in January she was fired from the squad for working as a Hooters Girl. Sams’ story went viral, landing her on national radio and television, including a live appearance on “Fox News.” Jay Leno had even featured her in his monologue on “The Tonight Show.”

Sources: First Christian Church; The Comet; Kingsport Times; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories; Johnson City Press

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