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Jax Daily Record Monday, May 3, 201012:00 PM EST

50 years ago this week


Democratic primary results, animals in the news

Have you ever wondered what life was like in Jacksonville half a century ago? It may have been a different era of history, culture and politics but there are often parallels between the kind of stories that made headlines then and today. As interesting as the differences may be, so are the similarities. These are some of the top stories from the week of May 3-9, 1960. The items were compiled from the Jacksonville Public Library’s periodical archives by Staff Writer Max Marbut.

• The state Democratic primary elections were held and Duval County’s Civil Court of Record judge and Juvenile Court judge each won victories in their bids for promotions to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court bench.

Civil Court Judge Roger Waybright, elected to the Group 8 Circuit Court judgeship, won a majority over attorney John Paul Howard. Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding was elected to the Group 7 Circuit Court judgeship over attorney Zach Howard.

Small Claims Court Judge W. Shannon Linning, who sought elevation to the Civil Court of Record bench, was given a “3,711-vote trouncing” by “young attorney Tyrie A. Boyer.”

Sheriff Dale Carson swept to a first primary victory in the three-man race for a four-year term as sheriff. He defeated former Sheriff Rex Sweat and ex-County Patrolman J.K. Ryan.

The victory for Carson was an endorsement of the job he had done since being appointed by Gov. LeRoy Collins in January 1958, when Carson was called on to pick up the fallen reins after Al Cahill’s ouster as sheriff.

First Assistant County Solicitor Edward M. Booth also prevailed in his bid to take command of the County Solicitor’s office in January when the term of incumbent Lacy Mahon Jr. expired. Mahon did not seek reelection.

• In the gubernatorial race, Mayor Haydon Burns finished third in the primary and would watch from the sidelines as Doyle E. Carlton Jr. and Farris Bryant headed for a runoff.

The day after the election, Burns said, “The fact I did not have the support of the two local newspapers probably cost Duval County a governor. The withholding of endorsements had a telling effect not only here but elsewhere in the state.”

The Florida Times-Union and Jacksonville Journal gave no editorial endorsement to any candidate, a long-established practice of Florida Publishing Co., which owned both newspapers.

• U.S. District Judge Bryan Simpson denied a motion by the City of Jacksonville to dismiss a suit brought by six African-Americans calling for full racial integration of all City recreation facilities. The suit asked that all racial bans be lifted from municipal swimming pools, parks and playgrounds, the zoo, baseball park and football stadium.

The motion to dismiss was made on the grounds that the suit’s allegations were vague and no specific instances of African-Americans being discriminated against at any recreational facilities were alleged. Simpson gave the City 20 days to file its answer to the suit.

City Solicitor Inman Crutchfield argued the motion to dismiss for the City and stressed his contention that, because no instances of discrimination were cited, the City could not file an adequate answer.

Ernest Jackson, an African-American attorney, replied that “hundreds of such examples” of discrimination could be obtained but “we don’t want to cause trouble here such as has occurred in other cities.

“Everybody knows that custom and usage bars colored people from some facilities and makes them occupy segregated seats at others,” he added.

Simpson noted that the bill of complaint with its generalized allegations was similar in form to others which had gone to federal courts in other states and which had resulted in decisions forbidding cities to continue the segregated operation of recreational facilities.

In 1959, Jackson represented a group of African-American golfers who brought suit to end segregation on the two municipal golf courses, Hyde Park and Brentwood. The U.S. District Court ruled that discrimination on the courses was a violation of the African-Americans’ civil rights and was illegal. The City closed the courses when the decision was handed down and later sold them to private operators.

• Jacksonville attorney W. Gregory Smith was elected president of Meninak International. Other new officers included Bertram Reid, vice president; Irvin Woods, treasurer; W. Fred Conn, field executive; and Gladys Harris, executive secretary. All were from Jacksonville.

Named to the board of governors were William E. Scheu, president of the Jacksonville Meninak Club, and Dr. F. Gordon King and Frank Taylor Jr., members of the local club.

Originating with the Meninak Club of Jacksonville, Meninak International was founded in 1950 and included civic-service clubs in Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Atlanta.

• A 175-pound black bear, which apparently had wandered along the bank of the St. Johns River as far as South Main Street, was killed with several pistol shots fired by Lt. J.W. Greene and Patrolman N.R. Woodham.

The officers found the animal taking a swim in the river shortly after 10:30 a.m. He was first spotted behind a building near the Main Street Bridge by 12-year-old Bruce Jacobs, who told police the bear briefly chased him while he fled on his bicycle.

Police said the bear was the fourth to be killed in the Jacksonville area since 1947. They gave the bear to three men who retrieved him from the water.

• The Duval County Patrol was looking for a hit-and-run horseman who knocked over two young girls on the grounds of Lake Shore Junior High School.

Patrolmen J.S. Davis and Joseph Bower said two 13-year-old girls, Peggy Clements of 5365 Colonial Ave. and Jane Moyer of 4550 Park St., were coming from the gymnasium about 2 p.m. when they heard hoof beats. The girls were knocked down when they could not step out of the horse’s path. They received minor bruises.

• Thumper and Bumper, a pair of poodles, were hauled into Circuit Court (by proxy) and accused of chasing and biting neighborhood cats. The playful pooches were impounded and enjoined.

Circuit Court Judge Bayard Shields issued an injunction against the dogs’ owners and noted that even without the injunction they were in violation of the law for permitting the animals to run around the streets, whether the dogs were chasing cats or not.

Shields said he was surprised to hear that a cat couldn’t handle any dog, but Bernard Woods, a cat owner who lived at 7104 Waikiki Road in Holiday Hill, said two dogs at one time were too much even for his cats.

Woods filed suit against Mr. and Mrs. Emil Ball of 7127 Altima Road asking for an injunction to keep the canines from molesting his four felines, Ignatius, Heathcliff, Gamin and Jasmine, the latter two being Siamese cats.

“Alley cats can handle a dog,” said Shields, “but maybe these fancy cats are different.”

However, at the end of nearly two hours of legal argument and testimony, Shields said he had to issue a temporary restraining order to keep Thumper and Bumper off Woods’ property.

Ball said he had done everything possible to keep his dogs fenced in and was installing a self-locking gate because people were leaving the gate open and the dogs were escaping. Thumper and Bumper were impounded at a veterinary hospital until the gate was finished.

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