Today in Johnson City History: August 27

Aug. 27, 1896: Gussie Johnson, a deaf woman who lived on Stratton’s hill with her brother, Alex Johnson, had been struck and instantly killed by engine No. 1 the previous morning at the crossing near the tannery. She had been to the spring across the track for a bucket of water and was returning with it when she stepped upon the track just ahead of the train. “She could not hear it, and of course the ringing of the bell and the shrill blowing of the whistle were powerless to warn her,” The Comet reported.

Aug. 27, 1918: The Johnson City Daily Staff carried the news that Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs had visited Johnson City the previous afternoon. A crowd estimated at 500 to 1,000 people turned out to greet their guests. The men were on their annual vacation trip from New York City by automobile on a mountainous journey that culminated in Asheville, North Carolina.

Aug. 27, 1931: State Teacher’s College’s original Sherrod Library was dedicated. At that time, it was called “the fireproof library.”

Aug 27, 1968: East Tennessee State University awarded 417 students with degrees. The speaker was Memphis State University President Cecil C. Humphreys, who encouraged graduates to exercise self-discipline.

Aug 27, 2007: ETSU started classes with a then-record 13,000 students expected for the fall semester.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Daily Staff/Bob Cox’s Yesteryear; ETSU; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Johnson City Press

Facebook Comments