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.
Commissioner Bob Harris acquitted in bribery trial
Duval County Commissioner Bob Harris was acquitted of charges he accepted $1,000 in unauthorized compensation to pave a street in a subdivision.
He was the first of several city officials who had been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly accepting bribes, misappropriation of funds and other misconduct to be put on trial.
Senior Criminal Court Judge William Harvey ordered the six-member jury to return a directed verdict of acquittal after the state rested its case without proving that the man who gave the money to Harris acted as his agent.
State Attorney William Hallowes tried to prove a connecting link between the two men by contending that Ralph Girvin delivered to Harris $1,000 provided by three other men. The state contended that proved Girvin was an agent, and therefore it should have been allowed to present testimony regarding conversations the three men had with Girvin.
Harvey ruled that most of the evidence, including the testimony on which the state’s case hinged, was inadmissible because it was hearsay.
Attorney Walter Shea, who represented Harris, readily admitted in his opening statement that Harris had received $750 in cash and a $250 check from the three men, but said the money was a campaign contribution. During the trial, Girvin testified the money was a campaign contribution.
As soon as Harvey ruled out the hearsay testimony, Hallowes conceded that the state had no further evidence to present.
Interstate 95 open to Daytona Beach
State Road Board member Harry Gonzalez, at a meeting of the Jacksonville Expressway Authority, said the 41-mile segment of Interstate 95 between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach was open to traffic.
“Good highway communication between the metropolitan areas of Florida is the lifeblood of the state. This is the first of many arterial connections that will be developed between all of the major population centers. Without such facilities, our growth would be slowed,” he said.
By late 1969, I-95 was expected to be complete from the Georgia line south to Vero Beach and through its entire 395 miles to Miami by 1973, Gonzalez added.
Dinner deals: Fried chicken and king crab
The Shrimp Boat restaurant at 4621 San Juan Ave. was offering a special on fried chicken.
A four-piece dinner with French fries, coleslaw and a roll was $1.15. The 16-piece bucket with a half-pint of slaw and six rolls was $3.75 and a barrel — 16 pieces of chicken with no side items — was $4.95.
Charlie Thomas’ Oyster House at 6454 Beach Blvd. was serving all the Alaskan king crab a customer could eat for $3.25.
For an appetizer, a platter with 12 oysters on the half shell was on the menu for 50 cents with the notation “You ate so many oysters last week, we almost had to lock the doors.”