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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 4, 201612:00 PM EST

50 years ago: 'The beginning of a crackdown' on obscene literature in Duval

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

A commercial photographer and a teenage girl were arrested at an East Monroe Street rooming house by the Duval County vice squad and charged with making and selling obscene pictures.

The photographer was booked into county jail on charges of selling, posing for, taking and possession of obscene pictures; contributing to the delinquency of a minor; lewd and lascivious conduct; and crimes against nature.

His bond was set at $5,000.

The girl was charged with posing for obscene pictures. Her bond was set at $600.

Officers confiscated several hundred photographs and negatives from the apartment. They entered the building on search warrants issued by Circuit Judge Marion Gooding.

Police Sgt. J.L. Pfeiffer and a federal agent went to the apartment and contracted with the photographer to purchase $300 worth of pictures. They made a token purchase of $25 worth of photos and then made the arrest.

In another raid, the owner and an employee at Nick’s Newsstand at 12 W. Eighth St. were arrested on charges of selling obscene magazines and jailed under $200 bonds.

Pfeiffer and Sgts. N.P. Patterson and John Keane made the arrests despite the fact they found no obscene literature in the store at the time of the raid. They said the magazines had been purchased earlier and it was on those purchases the case was made.

Assistant State Attorney Edward Booth called the raids the “beginning of a crackdown” on obscene literature.

• A plan to invest $25 million to improve Talleyrand Docks and Terminals and build another cargo facility was announced by the Jacksonville Port Authority.

Managing Director Dave Rawls said when the project was complete, Jacksonville would have the most modern and efficient facilities in the world.

Three piers would be replaced and another added. Four warehouses also would be constructed; each would enclose 160,000 square feet — enough room for three football fields.

Two 50-ton gantry cranes would be installed and 18,000 feet of track would be added to the rail system.

The $15 million project budget would come from the sale of $25 million in bonds approved in 1965 in a referendum for Duval County property owners.

The bonds would be amortized from port revenues.

The remaining $10 million was earmarked for the first stage of development of Blount Island, including docks, cargo handling and storage facilities, and a bridge to connect the island to Heckscher Drive.

• Two men were found not guilty of robbery by a Criminal Court jury, which wanted to find them guilty of assault but could not legally do so.

Alvin “Pop” Brown, 25, and Jake Lawrence, 21, were accused of the strong-arm robbery of a shipyard worker.

The prosecution’s case showed the victim was walking along Haines Street near 21st Street when he heard footsteps from behind and he began to run.

Testimony showed two men identified as Brown and Lawrence caught up with the man near 34th Street, kicked and roughed him up, then took 80 cents and a pack of cigarettes from him.

The assailants fled after a woman came out of a nearby store.

The defendants claimed the victim provoked the struggle and they took nothing from him.

The jury found Brown and Lawrence not guilty of robbery but guilty of assault.

Judge William Harvey told the jurors he could not accept the verdict because the defendants were not charged with assault. He advised the only verdict they could return would be guilty of robbery or petty larceny or not guilty.

The jury retired for further deliberation and returned in less than one minute with a verdict of not guilty.

• A law enacted in 1965 to outlaw bottle clubs in Duval County was declared unconstitutional by Circuit Judge Tyrie A. Boyer.

He also signed an order permanently forbidding the state Beverage Department from enforcing the law’s requirements that bottle clubs obtain a beverage license and be subject to state regulations governing licenses allowing on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Boyer’s final decree closed a lawsuit brought by attorney Arthur Boone on behalf of James Bryan, who operated the Candy Cane and Forest Inn bottle clubs.

“Bottle club” described a nightclub that did not sell alcoholic beverages, but allowed customers to drink them on the premises.

The clubs generally charged admission and sold mixers for the liquor brought by customers. Most provided music, live or recorded, permitted dancing and some provided floor shows.

The clubs did most of their business after the licensed cocktail lounges closed at 2 a.m.

In his decree, Boyer ruled the 1965 law was unconstitutional on the grounds it was a local or special law applying only to Duval County and that no notice of intention to apply for its enactment as a local law was published in Duval County as required by the state constitution.

The judge said the evidence clearly showed no such notification was published.

The effect of the ruling allowed the clubs to operate until 6 a.m. and allowed customers to consume alcoholic beverages that were not sold by the club with immunity from state interference.

• City Utilities Commissioner J. Dillon Kennedy died at his home from a heart attack at age 73.

He went to work 1910 at age 17 as a water tender at the only electric generating station, in the Main Street water works.

When the Talleyrand electric plant began operation two years later, Kennedy was assigned there as an oiler and then was promoted to third assistant engineer.

Five years later, he became chief engineer at the plant and held that position until 1941 when he was named assistant superintendent of production.

In 1942, Kennedy was promoted to assistant general superintendent of the entire electric department.

He retired in 1945 after more than 35 years of continuous service.

Three years later, he decided to seek the office of commissioner of utilities, docks and radio.

He was elected in 1949 for a two-year term and then re-elected four times, each time for a four-year term.

Kennedy was a life member and past potentate of Morocco Temple and past president of the American Public Power and Florida Municipal Utilities associations.

He was a member of many other organizations, including the Loyal Order of Moose, Jacksonville Elks Lodge, Seminole Club, Jacksonville Quarterback Club, Downtown Lions Club, Propeller Club and the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce.

After his funeral at First United Methodist Church, traffic on several Downtown streets came to a halt for nearly an hour while police moved more than 200 cars in a procession from the church to Evergreen Cemetery.

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