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Today in Johnson City History: February 26

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Feb 26, 2020 at 5:30 AM

Feb. 26, 1885: The Tennessee legislature passed legislation to incorporate Johnson City for the second time.

Feb. 26, 1891: The Comet opined that its owners “do not agree upon matters pertaining to the coming municipal election and have mutually agreed to ignore the question until after the election.” Elsewhere in the same issue of The Comet, readers learned that the Longfellow Literacy Circle would be postponing its upcoming meeting. In addition, the Roller Skating Club was “in a flourishing condition.”

Feb. 26, 1903: There were four cases of a mild form of smallpox in the Carnegie neighborhood, according to The Comet. All four cases were in the same household. Dr. J.H. Preas consulted with the county physician, and the household was placed under quarantine.

Feb. 26, 1924: M.D. Goswell was fined $10 for parking overnight on the street. He paid the fine.

Feb. 26, 1934: Johnson City Staff-News editorialized that “Repeated cold waves, the latest of which is even now assaulting East Tennessee, have resulted in a wave more damaging and far more serious.” The editorial further states “The amount of sickness in Johnson City and environs is at a high peak. Most illnesses are traceable to the unusual weather conditions, which found many unprepared.” Guy L. Smith was president and publisher of the newspaper, and Alvand Dunkleberger was the editor.

Feb. 26, 1947: Readers of Johnson City Press-Chronicle learned the annual Farmers’ Institute would be held at the John Sevier Hotel. “Visitors will include prominent agricultural leaders from Tennessee and nearby states, and several representatives of farm journals.”

Feb. 26, 1949: Angus Mitchell, president of Rotary International, had recently addressed the Rotary Club of Kingsport; representatives of many other local Rotary Clubs were also present. Mr. Mitchell asked Rotarians to “support with all our resources every practical movement for world peace.”

Feb. 26, 1955: Police and other authorities seized 203 1/2 pints of whisky.

Feb. 26, 1956: M.T. McArthur, manager of the John Sevier Hotel for 25 years, had recently announced his retirement. Mr. McArthur was fondly known around the region as “Mr. Mac.”

Feb. 26, 1963: Both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution to elevate East Tennessee State College to university status. The change took effect the following July 1.

Feb. 26, 1981: The Southern Championship Rodeo began the first day of a four-day run at Freedom Hall Civic Center. More than 18,000 fans attended the events.

Sources: City of Johnson City, Tennessee; Johnson City Court Records; Johnson City Staff-News; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall