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Today in Johnson City History: May 5

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • May 5, 2020 at 11:15 AM

May 5, 1875: The Knoxville Whig and Chronicle carried a letter to the editor that was signed, “Traveler.” The letter was about the many fine points of Johnson City. “The town is improving rapidly. The people all seem to be kind and hospitable. They eat food, the richest the land produces; breathe air as pure as ever floated through trembling osier, and slake their thirst with water as fresh and sweet as that which Moses obtained for the murmuring Hebrews at Mount Horeb’s rock.”

May 5, 1880: The Herald and Tribune ran an ad for Nannie Landreth, a dressmaker in Johnson City. She advertised, “Would respectfully inform the ladies of Jonesboro and vicinity that she is prepared to do all kinds of Mantnumaking (mantua-making) in the latest style and on the most reasonable terms.” Mantua was an oversize article of women’s clothing usually worn over a corset and a petticoat with a coordinating stomacher.

May 5, 1885: The Knoxville Daily Chronicle reported, “James Irwin, of Johnson City, a Republican mail agent on the Cranberry road, has been removed and one Crouch, a Democrat of Johnson City, has been appointed to fill the vacancy.”

May 5, 1895: The Knoxville Tribune reported, “Ex-Governor Bob Taylor and his manager, Mr. Rice, were in the city yesterday, leaving at noon for Johnson City to rest a few days before leaving for a tour through Virginia and North Carolina.”

May 5, 1924: William Brazewell of Johnson City visited Kingsport on business.

May 5, 1934: In the State Track and Field meet, a Johnson City runner named Fleming surpassed his state record in the 120 yard high hurdles of 16.9 seconds made in 1933 by breezing in in the fast time of 15.8 seconds. He also broke the record set in 1931 in the 220 low hurdles. The old record was 26.7 seconds, and Fleming’s time was 26.2.

May 5, 1954: Tennessee Gov. Frank Clement delivered an address for WJHL audiences, saying the state "is in its greatest era of advancement and services to the people." "As we tightened the control upon the amount and the manner of spending the taxpayer's dollar In Tennessee, we began moving last year at the most accelerated pace In Tennessee history In new and expanded services," Clement said.

May 5, 1968: A Hospital Pharmacy delivery driver escaped injury when his car stalled out on the Red Row Road Southern Railway crossing near Fairview Avenue. He got out of the car just before a Southern freight train struck it.

May 5, 1968: Staff Sgt. James E. Bowman (U.S. Air Force) was killed in action in Vietnam.

Sources: Knoxville Whig and Chronicle; Herald and Tribune; Knoxville Daily Chronicle; Knoxville Tribune; Kingsport Times; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories.



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