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Historical front pages from The Marietta Times

Front Page News
Newspapers provide a valuable record of the events that shape our lives. Years later they are virtual time machines into how events were perceived as they occurred.

The Marietta Times is one of the oldest continuing operating businesses in Marietta. First published as a weekly in 1864, the newspaper became a daily in 1898 and has provided a view of the community and the world for generations. Many of the historical front pages are included in this section. All pages have a link to a pdf copy of the page. The pdf will open in a new window and allow you to read stories that are on the page.

1860-1920 | 1921-1939 | 1940-1959 | 1960-1979 | 1980-present

Pages in this section were printed in a newspaper supplement on Nov. 13, 2012. A pdf of that section can be downloaded here.

Blog about this section.

Times Past takes a looks back at The Times everyday.

Time Capsule takes a look at a different front page each day.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel has also published since the 1800s. View news from West Virginia by visiting the Front Page News section for the News and Sentinel.


John Glenn flight
Issue date: Feb. 20, 1962
John Glenn, who grew up in the Zanesville and New Concord areas, became the first American to orbit the earth. The Times devoted half the front to page to the semi-local-boy-makes-good story. John Glenn would again fly in space more than two decades later as part of a shuttle mission.

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Glenn rests up after trail-blazing flight
Publication date: Feb. 21, 1962

John Glenn, who was born in Cambridge and grew up in the village of New Concord, captured the attention of the world when he made several orbits of earth in 1962, becoming the first American to do so. He later ran for the Senate and served 24 years, ran for president and lost, and finally returned to space on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1997. It was this journey that made him the oldest person to go into space at age 77.

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Backers hail rights march huge success
Publication date: Aug. 29, 1962

One of the most important moments of the civil rights movement was largely missed by wire news reports in the Aug. 29, 1962, edition of The Times. The coverage of the huge civil rights event in Washington quotes several people, but it does not mention Rev. Martin Luther King, nor does it quote from his “I Had a Dream Speech” that helped unify the movement.

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World mourns JFK
Issue date: Nov 23, 1963
Nearly the entire front page was filled with stories about the death of the president. The death of a local teacher also made the front page, as did a nursing home fire elsewhere in Ohio. Short stories on the page detailed closings due to the president’s death.

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Beatle bugs
Issue date: Feb. 8, 1964
The arrival of the Beatles in the United States signaled a change in popular music in 1964. Their arrival in New York made the front page of The Times, as did a story about Cecil Underwood speaking to students at Marietta High School. Underwood was both an ex-governor of West Virginia at the time, having been elected in 1956, and a future one. He was elected again in 1996. Underwood also had a teaching career, including teaching high school in St. Marys and at Marietta College from 1946-1950.

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Capacity crowd hears Dr. King lecture at MC
Issue date: March 2, 1967
Ban Johnson Field House was filled to capacity to hear Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King speak “The Future of Integration.” King flew into the Wood County Airport and went directly to the college. The article reported no demonstrations during the visit.

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MLK assassination
Issue date: April 5, 1968
The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King sparked outrage worldwide. The front page the day after reported the manhunt for his killer as well as riots that occurred throughout the nation. The assassination came just 13 months after he spoke to a crowd at Marietta College.

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Polls favor Kennedy in California contest
Sen. Kennedy critically wounded
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is dead
Issue date: June 4-6, 1968
Robert Kennedy was a front-runner to claim the Democratic nomination for president and had just won the California primary when Sirhan Sirhan shot him at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He died the next day and is buried near his brother in Arlington National Cemetery.


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Polls, wounded, killed

Apollo 11
Issue date: July 19, 1969
As the astronauts approached the moon The Times reported on the trip by the three Americans between the earth and the moon and the attempts by the Russian Luna 15. Luna 15 was an unmanned rocket the Russians were using to attempt to win the space race by landing on the moon, scooping up some rocks and returning to earth before the astronauts could. It failed. The Americans did not.

Issue date: July 21, 1969
The day following the “Epoch-Making” moonwalk nearly the entire page was devoted to the historic feat. Photos from the first mission to the moon were fuzzy, but regardless most newspapers, including The Times, ran them large on the front page. The story in the bottom right corner detailed the death of Mary Jo Kopechne after an accident in a car driven by Edward Kennedy. Kopechne formerly had been a secretary to Kennedy’s brother Bobby. Kennedy’s other brother, President John F. Kennedy, had famously challenged America to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

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July 19, July 21, 1961


Day of tragedy at Kent State
Issues date: May 5, 1970
Opposition to the war in Vietnam came to a head on May 4, 1971, on college campuses nationwide following the deaths of four students at Kent State. The Times lead with the story on May 5. Several other stories also detailed the tragedy, including a first person account of how the university reacted following the shooting. Four students were killed and Ohio National Guardsmen wounded nine. The protests that followed forced more than 450 colleges to close early that spring, including all the state colleges in Ohio.

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Early morning blaze levels old MC ‘barracks’ building
Issues date: May 7, 1970
The front page from May 7, 1970, detailed the burning of an old classroom building at Marietta College. It was believed the fire was the work of arsonists. The college president told the student that the fire was senseless, reprehensible and accomplished nothing.  Another story detailed Ohio State was closing and the 45,000 students had until noon to leave campus.

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21 are killed in nursing home fire
Publication date: Jan 10, 1970

21 people were killed during a fire at the Harmar House nursing home on Jan. 9, 1970.  Others would later die from related injuries. The fire at the nursing home, which was located where Sun HealthCare Group is today, eventually lead to changes to regulations that govern nursing homes. Most of the people died from smoke, not from burns.

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5 killed as blast rocks church annex
Publication date: Oct 11, 1971
Five people died when a boiler exploded in the annex of the First Baptist Church at the corner of Putnam and Fourth streets. Four teenagers and an adult leader were killed during a Sunday school class. The blast also injured 14 other people, eight of whom were hospitalized.

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Story remembering the disaster

Nation awaits resignation of president
Publication date: Aug. 8, 1974

A story at the top of the page detailed Richard Nixon was addressing the nation at 8 p.m. and was planning to step down. The main photo on the page was of Gerald Ford leaving his Alexandria home that morning. The next day he would be president and would be living in the White House.

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Ford assumes presidency
Publication date: Aug. 9, 1974

Gerald Ford took office the day after Richard Nixon told the nation he was resigning as president following the Watergate Scandal. Ford told the nation, “Our long national nightmare is over” after being sworn in as the 38th president. The story consumed the entire front page, including a reaction story about how local residents felt. The paper also featured a nameplate that did not have the word MARIETTA in it. The name of the community was restored to the front page a short time later.

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At least 49 dead at Pleasant plant. Scaffold collapse hurtles workers
Publication date: April 27, 1978

One of the most tragic events to occur in the valley happened during the construction of the Willow Island Power Plant. Working 170 feet off the ground, 51 men were killed when a layer of Cooling Tower Number Two failed during construction. Studies later showed, among other things, that concrete had not cured long enough to support the next layer and broke away from the structure while the men were working. The tower was finished years later. The change of color a third of the way up the tower is still visible today.

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Inspectors arrive at tragedy scene
Publication date: April 28, 1978

The day after the cooling tower collapsed the entire front page was devoted to the tragedy, including a list naming each man killed. Among the dead were four brothers, Gale, Ronnie, Ernest and Miles Steele. Five other members of their extended family also died in the disaster.

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