Picnic and Theories Mark Noon Hour in Frank Trial Court Room

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
August 1st, 1913

Spectators Remain From 5 to 7—Lunch Boys Acquiring Wealth

A court room where a man is on trial for his life is a strange place for a picnic, yet from 12:30 to 2 o’clock every afternoon the room where the Frank trial is taking place has all the appearance of the pavillion at Grant park on a hot July Saturday.

The benches are spread with boxes and sacks, sandwiches, chicken, cake, all the other essentials of a picnic lunch save ice-cold lemonade, are passed about from man to man, and the noon hour dinner is eaten with as much good-natured laughter as if there was never such a thing in the world as a murder trial.

True, most of the table conversation is of the latest testimony, and if there are after dinner speeches made they are sure to take a theoretic turn. But the afternoon session is an aid rather than a hindrance to digestion.

There are even some people who do not eat. They had rather go hungry than leave the court room and lose a coveted seat.

As a result there is not much chance for any spectator who comes to the trial in the afternoon with the hope of getting in. The benches are never deserted, and those who come at 7 o’clock in the morning are sure to stick until 5 in the afternoon.

Thursday at noon relief came to the hungry ones. A small red-headed boy slipped by the guard with a big basket on his arm.

He had hardly gotten inside the court room and opened his mouth to shout “Sandwiches!” before the spectators fell upon him.

In five minutes he was stripped of his load. What matter if he charged four bits apiece for pieces of mince pie? There was not a purchaser who kicked. It was worth half a dollar to retain one’s seat and be well fed at the same time.