History often repeats, and there often are parallels between the news of today and 50 years ago. Here are some of the top news stories of this week in 1967 compiled from the Jacksonville Public Library’s periodical archives by Associate Editor Max Marbut.
Mayor Hans Tanzler called on all residents of Jacksonville and Duval County — and particularly appointed and elected officials— to do some soul-searching regarding consolidation.
At the same time, he declared himself “personally and as a citizen” completely in support of the city-county government consolidation plan that would be voted on in an Aug. 8 referendum.
“There’s no doubt about it. I think consolidation would bring about the reforms in local government that we need,” Tanzler said.
He added that he had studied the charter for the proposed consolidated government “article by article and section by section” and came to the conclusion that it was his duty to speak out on the issue even though it placed him in an awkward position.
“I think the people want to know my views and in any event, I would find it difficult, as an elected official, not to stand up and say I’m for it,” Tanzler said, and added he hoped other elected officials would “have the courage to do the same thing.”
He emphasized, however, that he did not plan to actively campaign for the proposal.
City’s largest auto dealership leaving Downtown ‘to be where the people are’
Duval Motor Co., rated Jacksonville’s largest auto dealership, announced plans to move from its Downtown location at Forsyth and Lee streets to West Jacksonville.
Walter McRae, president of the Ford dealership, said the facility would be built on a 12-acre tract on Cassat Avenue, just south of Park Street. The street had been widened to six lanes.
McRae said the decision to move was based on continued expansion of the business, which required larger, more modern facilities and “we need to be where the people are.”
The dealership offered sales of new and used cars and trucks, servicing, retail and wholesale parts and auto and truck leasing.
The company was founded in 1916. First at 225 W. Adams St., the dealership moved in 1921 to 1000 W. Forsyth St. at Lee Street.
In 1931, Duval Motors had 70 employees and annual sales of $740,000. By 1967, the company had grown to 146 employees and annual sales of $12 million.
‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ on big screen
The romantic musical-comedy “Thoroughly Modern Millie” opened this week in 1967 at the 5 Points Theatre in Riverside. Starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won for Best Original Score.
State begins ‘lottery’ for vehicle safety inspections
Every owner of a car, bus or truck in Florida would participate in a “lottery” in 1968 — not for cash prizes, but in the interest of highway safety.
The lottery was part of the vehicle inspection law enacted by the 1967 Legislature calling for semiannual safety inspections of motor vehicles.
The owners wouldn’t know when they would be inspected until a 1968 license tag lottery was conducted.
Vehicles with a 4 or 5 as the last number on the license plate would be inspected during June. Vehicles with a 6 or 7 would be checked in July, and so on until all vehicles had been inspected.
Brakes, headlights, steering mechanisms, horns, windshield wipers, directional signals and tires would be checked to ensure they were in good operating condition.
If a vehicle failed the inspection, and the defects weren’t remedied, the owner would not get the required safety certificate, which would make driving the vehicle a misdemeanor.
Each inspection would cost $1.75, with 25 cents of the fee going to the Department of Public Safety for administration and uniforms for employees at the inspection stations.
Coins, silver certificates stolen at City Hall
A collection of silver certificates and old coins was reported stolen from the tax assessor’s office at City Hall, where a city employee left it for safekeeping.
Alice Floyd told Patrolman J. Gilsdorf the face value of the collection was $283, but said the value was much more.
Gilsdorf said Floyd had been keeping her collection in one of several strongboxes in a room at the rear of the office and found it missing when she returned from lunch.
The thief removed the pins from the strongbox’s hinges, removed the collection and then replaced the door and pins. Gilsdorf said the forced entry was hardly noticeable.
Floyd said she had not examined the money since early March