50 years ago this week
Tanzler leads Democratic sweep of general election
The Republican party’s first organized assault on City Hall failed when Democratic candidates dominated the general election by wide margins.
Hans Tanzler Jr., who resigned as Criminal Court judge to run for office and defeated Lou Ritter in the primary election, soundly defeated Republican William Hembree, a dentist and chairman of the local GOP committee. With all 70 city precincts reporting, Tanzler won 27,742 to 8,663.
Tanzler, who arrived at the courthouse when almost all the precincts were in, said he was “overwhelmed, proud and happy” and “I plan to take this city forward.”
The closest race was for the Third Ward City Council seat between Republican Ed Forsyth Jr. and Sallye Mathis, who won by almost 5,000 votes: 19,416 to 14, 528.
“This is a new Jacksonville that we can be proud of,” Mathis said.
Mathis was the second African-American woman elected to council, joining Mary Singleton, who won a council seat in the Democratic primary. Singleton was the first woman elected to council in the city’s history and the first African-American council member in 60 years.
In other council races, Democrat Boyd Jolly defeated Charles Neiner 21,195 to 7,073 for the Seventh Ward seat. Homer Humphries, an assistant state attorney, defeated Republican Don Fisher 20,740 to 8,524 to represent the Eighth Ward.
When the write-in votes for mayor were counted, Ritter received two votes and barber and segregationist Warren Folks got one vote.
Also favored by single write-in voters: Batman, Charlie Brown, Mickey Mouse and “Burns,” presumably former mayor and former governor Haydon Burns. Oscar Ziltch got two votes, one for Civil Service Board and one for council.
Volunteers sought to help consolidation campaign
Duval County residents who supported consolidation of the city and county governments and wanted to work for its success in the Aug. 8 referendum were invited to an organizational meeting of Citizens for Better Government.
Claude Yates, chairman of the group, said a Dutch-treat luncheon would be served at the Roosevelt Hotel. The meeting would be highlighted by discussions of consolidated government and how to assure a high voter turnout for the referendum, he said.
L.A. Hester, referendum coordinator, said the organization could use volunteer clerical workers at its headquarters at 32 W. Duval St. and that volunteers could assist in their own homes on a part-time or full-time basis.
More than 600 guests were given a preview of the new 90 by the Sea oceanfront restaurant.
Hosts for the cocktail and dancing party were Jacksonville Beach Mayor William Wilson and William McCullough, vice president of American News Co., which would operate the restaurant.
The restaurant was built by the City of Jacksonville Beach and leased to American News, which furnished and equipped it.
“This is one of the loveliest and most ideally situated restaurants in our chain. Patrons will have a panoramic view of the ocean and spotlights have been installed to pick up the surf after dark,” said Tom LaPointe from Miami, divisional manager of American News, which operated more than 400 restaurants.
Meteor strikes reported by police around region
Widespread meteor showers, with some meteors striking the Earth, were reported in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers reported seeing “fireballs” hit the ground near their cars in Middleburg and in Newberry, according to FHP dispatchers in Jacksonville and Starke.
The Duval County Patrol made a similar report of ground strikes in the southern part of the county.
An official for the Federal Aviation Agency at Imeson Airport received reports of several meteors striking the ground around Gainesville and at least one near St. Augustine.