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Fifty Years Ago


Monday, Jan. 15, 1968

Passengers escape as train derails

ROCKMART, Ga. (AP) – About 40 persons escaped injury when a Southern Railway passenger train mysteriously derailed in the snowbound hill country of northwestern Georgia.

The train, headed for Cincinnati, Ohio, was only about 50 miles from Atlanta when it completely derailed Sunday night in a sparsely settled area near Rockmart. There were conflicting reports on the cause of the derailment.

The Georgia State Patrol said all the cars left the track but remained upright.

Southern Railway ordered ambulances to the scene, but they were turned back when the train’s engineer radioed that the passengers were shaken but unhurt.

Troopers said it took almost 45 minutes of tricky driving on ice-glazed roadways to reach the disabled train.

The train consisted of two engines, a baggage car and one coach with about 40 passengers.

“We’re pretty sure it jumped the track,” said W.W. Matthews, chief clerk for the company.

However, this report was later denied by Dean Miller, general superintendent of transportation for Southern.

“The cars definitely did not jump the track,” Miller said.

The official emphatically denied reports that the train had struck a rockslide on Braswell Mountain.

“That just isn’t true. We don’t yet know how it happened, but it certainly didn’t strike any rockslide,” the official said.

The passengers were transferred to another train to continue their trip northward.

The only injured were from Rome. They included Eileen Hayes, 52, Callier Springs Road, treated at Floyd Hospital for bruises and dismissed; her 2-year-old grandchild, Nicolex Blue, Callier Springs Road, examined at Floyd and dismissed; Susan Gilkeson, 2, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Gilkeson, 4 Leland Ave., examined and dismissed from Floyd.

As presented in the January 1918 editions of the Rome Tribune-Herald

Three successive lightless Thursday nights in Rome have now been marked by the theft of an auto. Most recently Hill Salmon of Armuchee was the victim. He attended a performance at the auditorium, reaching there in his car shortly after 8 o’clock, and when he was ready to go home about three hours later, his auto had been stolen. It was left by him in front of the theater. The police and sheriff were promptly notified but neither car nor thief has been located. The stolen auto was a Ford 1917 model and license has been applied for but no number had yet been received. The motor number is 2,326,255.

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 1968

‘Junior Miss’ ready for area beauty pageant

Rome’s Junior Miss, Dedra Trotter, will leave Thursday where she will compete in the Georgia Junior Miss Pageant to be held Friday through Sunday at Cartersville.

Miss Trotter, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bibb Trotter, of Collinswood Road. She won the Rome title on Nov. 18.

The Rome beauty will be accompanied to Cartersville by one of the Jaycettes and will be chaperoned during the contest by members of the Cartersville Jaycettes.

Miss Trotter, who is a senior at East Rome high School, will play the piano as part of her routine in the contest.

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 1968

Elm Street wins 22nd straight in Mite League

Coosa, West End and Elm Street emerged victorious Tuesday afternoon in Mite and Pee-Wee league games held at the Boys Club gymnasium.

Coosa edged out West End, 18-14 in a Pee-Wee contest, while West end trounced Maple Street, 32-16 and the Elm Street Greens ripped Coosa, 29-15 in the Mite League.

The Elm Street Greens recorded their 22nd straight victory without a defeat in their contest. Clayton Lundy led the way with an even dozen points, while Ricky hall and Dennis Little each scored five points for the losing Coosa cagers.

Tommy Poppalardo hit the nets for 11 points to set the scoring pace in West End’s win. Earnest Gibson tallied 11 markers for Maple Street.

In the Pee-Wee battle, Ronnie McDonald’s six points led Coosa, and Mark Blanton scored nine for West End.

Thursday, Jan. 18, 1968

Florida Disneyland ambitious project

NEW YORK (UPI) – Florida is one of the South’s biggest money makers because its mild climate induces industries to locate there.

Before his death, Walt Disney chose central Florida as the site of his most ambitious project – a vast amusement park and community of tomorrow.

Fred O. (Bud) Dickinson Jr., comptroller of Florida, said in a recent interview during a business trip to New York that Disneyland East will have a great impact on Florida’s economy.

“The amusement park will occupy 27,000 square acres when it is completed,” Dickinson said. “It will be so large that it will make the original Disneyland look like a bubble.”

It is estimated it will require about $2.6 billion for payrolls for jobs Disneyland East will create during the first 10 years of its operation. But it is also estimated that visitors will spend about $2.7 billion during the same period after the park opens in 1970.

Dickinson noted that those who are employed at Disneyland East will live in a perfect climate in what is called EPCT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which will have a transparent covering.

“It will be air-conditioned and those who live there won’t have to worry about rain,” Dickinson said.

Several years ago Dickinson, a lawyer, headed a drive for a bond issue that has been used to build up higher education in Florida.

His work in finance and government have included services under Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy.