Today in Johnson City History: June 12 | To live

June 12, 1897: One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, the Chattanooga Daily Times, dated Johnson City and dated June 11, reported: “The Southern Industries Company, of Baltimore, which recently invested $100,000 in iron ore land in the county of Unicoi (sic), they are now trying to gain control of the Carnegie blast furnace at this location. If they are successful in the matter, they will operate the furnace in connection with their mines in Unicoi (sic) county.”

“The Southern Industries Company has a capital stock of $5,000,000, of which HS Peek, former Secretary of the Unaka Iron Company, is Chairman. The company has the support of capitalists from Montreal, Chicago and Baltimore”.

The Chattanooga Daily Times is now published online as the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

June 12, 1922: A century ago today, The Journal and Tribune reported news with a date of Morristown, Tennessee, and a date of June 11. The firm was Walter Harper. Readers learned that “The full seating capacity of the huge tabernacle in which Billy Sunday is holding his revival here was reached in today’s morning service. Every available seat was filled. The official capacity is given in more than 8,000”.

“There is room to seat at least 2,000 more.”

“Opening his speech, Mr. Sunday stated: ‘Men and women of Morristown, it may interest you to know that there are few auditoriums in the United States that will hold this crowd. There is only one in New York City (sic) or Chicago. This is the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen in a city of this size.’”

“Over 500 people came on a special (train) from Bristol. This was augmented by many from Johnson City, Jonesboro, Greeneville, and other way stations. The reserved sections could not accommodate this special delegation and took seats elsewhere. The train brought much more people than expected.”

“The local committee was informed before the arrival of the train that more than 500 tickets had been sold in Bristol and that seats were reserved for what the train was estimated to bring, but more were collected en route than expected. All available spaces were taken.

Jonesboro was spelled that way in 1922.

The Journal and Tribune was a newspaper published in Knoxville. In time it became the Knoxville Journal and Tribune. It is now published as the Knoxville News-Sentinel. The Johnson City Chronicle did not publish a Monday newspaper in 1922. June 12, 1922 fell on a Monday.

June 12, 1947: Seventy-five years ago, the Elizabethton Star reported: “The Watauga River will be diverted from the channel it has flowed through for centuries into the TVA Watauga Dam diversion tunnel sometime Friday morning, George K. Leonard, project manager, announced today.”

“There will be no special ceremonies preceding the diversion of water from the riverbed into the 34-foot large tunnel, which has been carved out of solid rock, Mr. Leonard said, but the public is invited to view the event.”

“The diversion of the river to the tunnel will mark the end of the first (sic) stage of the dam’s construction and will be 17 days ahead of schedule, said the project manager. July 1 was originally scheduled as the day for the completion of the tunnel and the diversion of the water.”

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“Tomorrow’s final work will be an interesting show. A temporary dam will be placed across the river. A convoy of trucks loaded with earth and rock will dump the material for the dam, which will be spread by an excavator. As soon as the dam is complete and the water starts to back up into the cofferdam at the tunnel entrance, it will break and the water will start to seep in.”

“The tunnel is 2,500 feet long and its interior has been lined with concrete. Its mouth is below where the dam’s powerhouse is going to be built.”

“Only a trickle of water a few feet deep is expected to flow through the tunnel tomorrow as the river is slightly below its normal level. The bottom of the tunnel is lower than the riverbed.”

“The dam that will be built tomorrow will be raised to a height (sic) that will be enough to contain the river even in the flood stage so that the construction work of the big dam can continue without interruption at any time.”

“The capacity of the diversion tunnel is designed to be large enough to take care of any flooding that may arise in the river.”

“Visitors can reach the site of operations tomorrow via Siam Road, the only one open except on Saturdays and Sundays. Security officers will direct traffic to the overlook just above the tunnel. There is parking space for several cars. The general public is invited by Mr. Leonard to witness the diversion of the water.”

June 12, 1972: Fifty years ago today, the weather was in the news. According to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, “For the second day of manual operation (sic), record low temperatures were recorded at the Tri-City airport.”

“This morning’s low was 47 and yesterday morning it was 42.”

“But the forecaster is forecasting better things for today, tonight and tomorrow with clear skies and milder temperatures.”

“Today’s high should be near the 80s, tonight’s low in the mid-50s, and tomorrow’s high in the low 90s.”

“The historical maximum for this date was 94 in 1944, the historical minimum 51 in 1951”.

June 12, 1997: Twenty-five years ago today, in an article signed by Press Staff writer Jeff Keeling, Johnson City Press reported: “Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has hired a group to survey people about the local health care situation, including the prospect of a new hospital coming to the city, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.”

“Barbara Deere, regional marketing director for Columbia, said one company began conducting the phone survey late last week and expects to speak to 600 to 900 people by the end of the week.”

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