June 14, 1922: Exactly a century ago, the Johnson City Chronicle reported on a terrible storm. “The most severe storm of the season, and one of the worst in the history of the city, visited this section last night around 9:00 p.m. While the wind was not exceptionally strong, the rain and hail assumed the proportions of a downpour, which lasted, however, only about fifteen minutes.
“As it became known last night, the storm was purely local, covering only a small territory. After a sultry day, the downpour suddenly broke out with unprecedented fury, and in moments it had created torrents in the streets of the city. In the city center, water rushed onto sidewalks and, in places, slid into store buildings.”
“Hail accompanied the rain during the latter part of the storm, and on Main Street, hailstones the size of partridge eggs accumulated in large quantities. In at least one case, hail shattered a car windshield and several window lights were smashed out.”
“In almost every part of the city, trees were uprooted or their branches broken; in some cases, trees that fall in the streets. At the Southwest Addition, power lines snapped; and on one street, a high-voltage cable shorted out on wet pavement and dangerously ‘sputtered’ until discovered and repaired.”
“Near-continuous flashes of lightning formed an electrical display of unusual severity and interfered with lighting, power and telephone service. The city’s lights and power supply went out intermittently during the storm, due to fuses repeatedly blowing in the powerhouse; but by using the auxiliary, the power company maintained the residence’s lighting and power service with some brief delays. The street lights went out early and stayed off overnight.”
“It is likely (sic) that additional damage has occurred in the adjacent outlying districts, when more complete reports become available; although, from information obtained early this morning, it appears that the center of the thunderstorm was in Johnson City.”
June 14, 1947: Seventy-five years ago, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle noted, “Today, June 14, is Flag Day, a date set aside for the general observance of national rule.”
“The Johnson City Chamber of Commerce has not taken official notice of the occasion, but individual merchants will likely be guided by their own feelings on the matter,” it said.
“Even before the recent world war, which many have already been prone to forget, the citizens of Johnson displayed the flag on this occasion, and on minor holidays. This is expected to be done in general today.”
“The first widespread observance of a ‘flag day’ was the centenary of national independence in 1877, with the participation of a large number of cities. At that time, 38 states were in the blue field.”
“It appears, according to the best accepted reference in American history, that the idea dates back to June 14, 1777, when the young Congress had before it a resolution designed to create the first American flag.”
“Furthermore, there does not seem to be any exact evidence that the national legislature ever passed such a resolution, but the American Flag Day Association, Chicago, began nationalizing the observation in 1896.”
“Historians have continued to investigate, with the result that many reams have been written on the subject. His finding reached the debunking stage. In fact, it seems that Betsy Ross was not the designer of the first flag, as legend has it. It is now believed that Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was the designer.”
“Anyway, as far as holidays go, Flag Day is a legal holiday in Pennsylvania and Missouri, according to the World Almanac. In the ‘Show me’ state, Truman himself, business is unaffected by observance.”
Harry S. Truman was President of the United States in 1947.
June 14, 1959: With a Roan Mountain date, Johnson City Press-Chronicle readers have learned that “Minnie Pearl, longtime comedy star of the National Broadcasting Company’s part of the Grand Ole Opry, will highlight the opening entertainment from the 13th Annual Rhododendron Festival on Saturday.”
“Gov. Buford Ellington, Senator Estes Kefauver and Congressman B. Carroll Reece will speak before the coronation of the Rhododendron Queen by DW Moulton, state highway commissioner.”
“The rhododendron will be in full bloom for the festival.”
“Saturday afternoon at Shelving Rock, near Roan Mountain, there will be a play about the mountain men on the way to Kings Mountain.”
“Shelving Rock is where men stopped overnight on their way to fight the British, a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Pat Alderman of Erwin is in charge of the sketch. Shelving Rock is the site of the proposed Roan Mountain State Park, which was authorized by the last legislature.”
June 14, 1972: Fifty years ago, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle published this letter to Polly, writer of the popular “Polly’s Pointers” column. “Dear Polly, I have a new sweater made from 100% virgin acrylic fibers (Japan) that has a strong odor similar to that of a wet dog that has just had a bath. I have washed it in that well-known cold water solution for wool and the smell was very strong while the sweater was wet and remained after drying. Any suggestion will be gratefully received.” The letter was signed, “Nadine.”
Polly’s Pointers was a popular column that published household tricks, as well as pet peeves and problems for which readers were looking for solutions.
June 14, 1997: Twenty-five years ago today, according to the Johnson City Press, “City and library officials are inviting the public to the start of the demolition of the Economy Inn on Thursday, which will make way for the construction of the new Johnson City Public Library.” “.
“Demolition begins at 5:15 pm and will include an opportunity for citizens to ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ of new construction in the proposed Arts Cultural District.”
“A model of the new library is on display at the current library site, 103 S. Roan St.”