Governor: Stop ‘old City Hall crowd’ from taking over new government
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.
Gov. Claude Kirk said he was urging a fellow Republican, state Sen. Tom Slade, to run for mayor of Jacksonville to prevent what he called “the old City Hall crowd” from taking over the new consolidated government.
He was referring to attorney and former House member Lacy Mahon Jr. and Daughtry Towers Sr., also an attorney.
Mahon was a key supporter of Mayor Hans Tanzler in his victory over former Mayor Louis Ritter in the May Democratic primary, while Towers frequently had been described as a “power behind the scenes” in city politics.
Towers ridiculed Kirk’s remark.
“It absolutely is not true. As you know, and everybody else knows, I was for Lou (Ritter),” he said.
When asked if he would support Tanzler in a bid to retain his post under consolidated government, “it depends on who runs,” Towers said.
“I have no interest in answering him. I don’t think I care to comment one way or the other,” said Mahon of Kirk’s remarks.
The governor emphasized he was not attacking Tanzler, who was expected to seek re-election under the consolidated countywide government approved by voters Aug. 8.
Kirk also said he supported consolidated government as a citizen, and was urging Slade to run for mayor on the Republican ticket to assure new leadership.
“Jacksonville is a pilot city for consolidated government,” Kirk said. “The people have thrown out the old crowd. I am urging Slade to run and would be 1,999 percent for him. In Alabama (Kirk’s home state) 1,999 percent is the most.”
$100,000 can land AFL All-Star Game
If Jacksonville could come up with $100,000 in the next 10 days, it would be strongly recommended as the site for the 1967 season American Football League All-Star Game on Jan. 21.
At a gathering of business and civic leaders at the Roosevelt Hotel, AFL President Milt Woodard said Jacksonville’s chances would be “rated at least as good” as those of Oakland, San Diego and Houston — the three cities in which the game previously had been played — if the city came up with the $100,000 guarantee.
Woodard said he thought an investment of about $135,000 to $145,000, including stadium rental and promotion of the game, would be needed.
Players in the game, plus other visitors who stage the national telecast, would make a contingent of about 100, Woodard said.
They would be in Jacksonville for about a week and among the related events probably would be a golf tournament for the participants.
Ticket prices would be “in the $5 range,” he added.
Dallas Thomas also facing federal tax evasion charges
Former City Commissioner Dallas Thomas, who was scheduled for trial in November on 46 state counts of grand larceny and bribery, was facing a possible 20 additional years in prison and up to $40,000 in fines after being charged by a federal grand jury with income tax evasion.
The jury’s allegation that Thomas evaded payment of more than $34,000 in federal income tax for the calendar years 1962 through 1965 was the result of a three-year investigation, said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hamilton.
Thomas, accompanied by his attorneys, Nathan Bedell and Hugh Davenport, surrendered at the U.S. Marshals Service in the post office and federal courthouse building Downtown.
The arrest warrant had been held by the marshals since it was signed by U.S. District Judge Charles Scott soon after the grand jury returned its verdict.
Thomas was released minutes after being fingerprinted and signing a $2,500 recognizance bond.