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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 21, 201412:00 PM EST

50 years ago: Baptist Hospital opens intensive care unit

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by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

• An intensive care unit with the most modern equipment available opened on the fourth floor at Baptist Memorial Hospital in the area formerly occupied by the Wolfson Auditorium.

There were 11 beds in the unit, eight private and three in a multibed arrangement. They would be occupied by critically and seriously ill patients who required 24-hour care and monitoring.

The unit was staffed by two nursing teams, each comprised of a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, aide and orderly personnel with interns, residents and attending physicians as needed.

The equipment installed in the facility included a ventilator that would aid a patient’s breathing or even breathe for a patient, a machine to restart the heart after an arrest and a special electronic monitoring machine to give attendants “a total picture of heart activities.”

In the nurses’ centralized working area, “the latest in intercommunication equipment” provided contact between nurses, patients and utility facilities.

• Jacksonville Mayor Haydon Burns, who was campaigning to be governor, declared that “The state of Florida has had its fill of lawyers in Tallahassee.”

Burns had made a blanket charge of deceit against the four attorneys who also were seeking election to the office, then later narrowed the charge down to one of the four without specifically identifying anyone.

“One of my opponents is a master of deceit. He has used his twisting of words in the courtroom and maybe that is acceptable there but it is not acceptable in the governor’s race,” he said.

Two days after Burns leveled the criticism of his opponents in the legal profession, The Jacksonville Bar Association declined to censure him for his remarks that could be interpreted as a castigation of all lawyers.

A resolution that would have put the association on record as “publicly denying the charges that the members of the legal profession are ‘masters of deceit’ or that they practice deceit in the courtrooms” was not adopted at a meeting at the George Washington Hotel by a 48-44 vote, with about 10 attorneys abstaining.

Association member Lloyd Leemis introduced the censure resolution and said Burns’ statement “was undertaken for political purposes and designed to vilify and slander the entire profession.”

Charles H. Murchison, stating his opposition to the resolution, said that most of the lawyers present at the meeting had been given no opportunity to study the proposal.

“It would be a departure from our high standards to act on any matter as important as this without giving it full consideration,” Murchison said.

Murchison told his colleagues that after the “masters of deceit” phrase was reported by news media, Burns explained he didn’t intend for the phrase to apply to the profession as a whole but to one candidate in the race for governor.

• Rutledge H. Pearson, president of the state and local NAACP branches, petitioned President Lyndon Johnson, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Gov. Farris Bryant to intercede in order to avert a possible “race war” in Jacksonville.

“We strongly feel that community leaders have failed to properly assess and evaluate the danger of the situation as it exists now in Jacksonville,” and “We may have a lot of spontaneous reaction,” Pearson wrote in the letter.

He said the NAACP had declared a buying boycott and intended to continue demonstrations at segregated hotels and restaurants. Many African-Americans had been arrested during the demonstrations and were charged with violating the state trespass law.

Pearson asked for and received a vote of confidence from a meeting of 500 African-Americans in the Day Spring Baptist Church for a boycott of all purchases except essential food and medicine.

He urged those assembled to “wear rags with dignity” and have their telephones removed.

Pearson said a “traitor committee” would watch for any African-Americans who made nonessential purchases, but did not say what would happen to those who did.

He also said “a controlled censorship on the part of the local news media” had placed the African-American community “behind a veritable iron curtain.”

• For more than an hour, part of Arlington looked like a western movie when a saddle horse without a rider cleared a fence and galloped away, prompting a suburban roundup.

A call went out to the Duval County Patrol and Patrolmen Fred Dozier, T.Z. Martin and J.C. Wilson arrived in patrol cars, joined by Patrolman J.B. Edwards on his motorcycle.

It was 5 p.m. and the officers were concerned the horse would get out on the expressway during the rush hour.

The officers gave chase for about an hour until the horse galloped into a fenced back yard on Pottsburg Drive. Dozier got there in time to shut the gate behind it.

Arlington volunteer firefighters also were involved in the chase and one of them went into the yard and slipped a rope over the horse’s head.

“Then that horse had nerve enough to walk over to the fence and nuzzle me on the jaw as if he thought the whole thing had been a big joke,” Dozier said.

• A sentence of one year of probation was ordered for a former insurance company claims adjuster who pleaded guilty to six counts of petty larceny stemming from fraudulent claims for repairs to damaged motor vehicles.

Criminal Court Judge A. Lloyd Layton handed down the sentence to John Gibbs, 28, of 843 Fourth St. in Neptune Beach.

County Solicitor Edward Booth said Gibbs was a former claims adjuster for St. Paul Tire and Marine Insurance Co. Gibbs admitted larceny of sums totaling $267.50 between Oct. 15, 1962, and Aug. 16, 1963.

According to Booth, Gibbs was involved in a fraudulent claims scheme and conspired with Ivey Allen Jr., operator of an auto repair shop. Booth said Allen received an 18-month sentence in 1963 from Criminal Court Judge William T. Harvey for his part in a conspiracy to defraud Travelers Insurance Co.

Booth said Gibbs, as an adjuster on claims made against St. Paul by its policyholders with damaged vehicles, arranged to have the cars repaired by Allen and then padded the charges for the work, splitting the excess with Allen.

In a plea before his sentencing, Gibbs said he was “hit with heavy bills due to illness in his family.” Layton ordered probation after an investigation of Gibbs’ background by the probation officer.

Gibbs could have received a maximum sentence of six months on each of the six counts, or a total of three years.

• The Jacksonville Beach City Council took action to head off a “young war” from breaking out between fishermen using the pier at Sixth Avenue South and surfers who preferred to ride the waves near the pier.

At the request of R.L. Williams, operator of the pier, the council agreed to consider enacting an ordinance prohibiting surfers and swimmers from coming closer than 300 feet from the pier.

“The fishermen and surfers are going to clash. We’re going to have a young war unless something is done,” Williams said.

He said at least one surfer had been hooked and then pulled off his board by a fisherman. Others on the pier had been tossing lead sinkers at surfers who came close to fishing lines. One group of angry surfers, seeking retribution, had been stopped at the entrance to the pier, Williams said.

The surfers claimed the waves near the pier usually were better than those found elsewhere along the beach.

Mayor William Wilson said the council soon would have to give some consideration to controlling surfing along the beach, possibly by fencing off a portion of the beach for surfers.

The council increased the charges for towing cars after midnight from $5 to $10, for righting an overturned car from $10 to $15 and towing a car out of the water from $10 to $15.

Action on a request for transfer of a beer license at Ginger’s Circus Bar from P. Ziggie Payson to George E. Reaves was postponed until the council’s next meeting.

• Two young craftsmen from Jacksonville won first-place trophies in the annual state contest for apprentice bricklayers, tile-setters and plasterers at Technical High School.

Frederick Dedmon won the bricklaying contest and would represent Florida in May at the national finals in Louisville, Ky.

James A. Young Jr. won the title in the tile-setting competition and would compete in the 16th Annual Southern States Apprenticeship Conference scheduled in July in Jacksonville.

The top prize for plastering went to Donald Mitchell of Fort Lauderdale. He also would attend the conference.

The contests were sponsored by the Florida State Conference of Bricklayers in cooperation with the state Department of Apprenticeship, the U.S. Department of Labor and local school boards.

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