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This should come as no surprise to anyone

If you had to pick just one occupation that people throughout the ages would recognize as a job, what would you pick? Yeah, us too. This week’s story is about those who work for a living. More accurately, it’s about those who worked for a living in 19th century Atlanta. This topic came about quite […]

Georgia's northern and western boundaries

How Georgia got its northern boundary – and why we can’t get water from the Tennessee River

This week, guest columnist WILLIAM J. MORTON, author of The Story of Georgia’s Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography, shares the story of Georgia’s mismeasured northern boundary.

What does Georgia — more specifically, Atlanta — need to thrive? Today, like many large and expanding metropolitan areas across the United States, it needs water. The drought of 2008 in Georgia brought renewed attention to the fact that if the Georgia/Tennessee boundary had been properly surveyed along the 35th latitude, then plenty of water from the Tennessee River would be available for Georgia’s citizens. This is the story of Georgia’s mismeasured northern boundary.

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In its day, it was a really big deal

At the corner of Peachtree and Carnegie Way there is an entrance to the Peachtree Center MARTA station. It hasn’t always been there, of course. Over one hundred years ago on that very same spot stood the Hotel Aragon, a six-story, 125-room establishment that opened for business in 1892. By all accounts, it was a […]

Flannery O'Connor and peafowl

According to the peafowl: Andalusia Farm and Flannery O’Connor’s birds

This week, guest columnist ALLISON HUTTON, program coordinator at Georgia Humanities, examines how Andalusia Farm, former home of author Flannery O’Connor, uses animals to tell Georgia’s story.

In the children’s book Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows have found a typewriter and have taken to writing him letters about conditions in the barnyard. With the exception of the Chick-fil-A cows decorating billboards that line the interstate, there have been no reports of literate cows in Georgia (yet). Still, animals are an essential — and charming — part of the way that many Georgia museums and historic sites tell their stories.

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Susie King Taylor: Civil War nurse and early social justice activist

This week, guest columnist HERMINA GLASS-HILL, a public historian, explores the transformation of Susie King Taylor, a Civil War nurse, into a an early social justice activist and racial uplift advocate.

Susie Baker King Taylor, born in 1848 in Liberty County, is celebrated as the only African American woman ever to have written an autobiography of her enlistment and service as a teacher and a nurse in the first all-black regiment in the history of the U.S. army. Yet very little has been written about her private emotions, frustrations, and disappointments. These aspects of Taylor’s life resonate very deeply within my own spirit, and are just as compelling as her public achievements.

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Ever taken a wrong turn in Atlanta

If you’ve lived in Atlanta longer than about a day and a half, chances are pretty good that you have discovered navigating Atlanta’s road system can be a bit challenging and I’m pretty sure you didn’t need me to tell you that. I’ll never forget my first day driving in Atlanta as someone from another […]

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This demolition was a tad ironic

The hubbub began back in 2012 when an application was submitted that would lead to the demolition of a building located at 771 Spring Street. The building in question, the Crum and Forster building, had been constructed around 1926 and it served as the Atlanta location of the the Crum and Forster Insurance Company. The […]

Steele on Edmund Pettis Bridge #2

The Bloody Sunday Blues

Bloody Sunday is surreal. It was an uncanny experience even for this seasoned journalist to encounter civil rights icon, Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, holding court and counseling youngsters at the apex of the Edmund Pettis Bridge on Sunday March 6th about the significance and substance of this memorable day in Black history.

Jenkins house, Eatonton, Georgia

Historic Georgia landscapes in bloom

This week guest columnist GLENN T. ESKEW, a Georgia State University professor, explores historic landscapes.

For the second time, the inclement weather had passed north of Atlanta, and I found myself heading south to attend yet another history conference. The academic year was in full swing, and scholars like the winter months for symposia. Rather than take the interstate, I prefer riding back roads and drove down Georgia Highway 15 through the old Cotton Belt.

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The sum of its parts

It is natural for any city to brag a little about itself … but in Atlanta, boosterism is a way of life. That, however, does not change the fact that there are many things about Atlanta that are worth bragging about. I guess we were just in a little bit of a reflective mood this […]

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It’s time for music in Georgia

This week, guest columnist STANLEY ROMANSTEIN of Georgia State University makes a case for supporting the music industry in Georgia.

How do we create and promote a viable, growing, sustainable music industry in our state? Lieutenant Governor Zell Miller first put that question to the Georgia General Assembly in 1978 by naming both a Senate Music Recording Industry Study Committee and a Music Recording Industry Advisory Committee.

Osogbo: Art and Heritage and Controversy

Robin Ligon-Williams fashions herself as the modern day reincarnation of Susanne Wenger, the late creator of the Osogbo School of Art. But Williams’ passion for the African art form, coupled with a January exhibition of her collection and her practice of the IFA religion may be why she was recently fired from her Fulton County job.

mercer piano

Celebrating southern songwriter Johnny Mercer

This week guest columnist GLENN T. ESKEW, discusses Johnny Mercer’s connection to the Great American Songbook and Georgia State University.

On Friday, February 26 at 8 p.m. Georgia State University will hold its biannual Mercer Celebration at the Rialto Center for the Arts with a performance by trumpeter Joe Gransden joined by vocalist Kathleen Bertrand and the Georgia State University Big Band. With this concert, Georgia State University celebrates native son Johnny Mercer, as well as its own good fortune in housing Mercer’s memorabilia, donated to the university by his widow, Ginger, in June 1981.

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The dragon that reaches out and grabs you

It was the childhood drowning of his older sister in a river near Gloucester, Massachusetts that sparked Roger Babson’s life-long interest in finding a way to control the effects of gravity. So motivated was he, that Babson wrote an essay titled “Gravity – Our Enemy No. 1.” Speaking of his sister in the essay he […]

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Helen Matthews Lewis, mountain saint

Recently, Atlanta actor Brenda Bynum introduced me to Helen Matthews Lewis through a brilliant one-person play. The locale was the Craddock Center of Cherry Log, Georgia, an educational and cultural venue for children, families, and communities in southern Appalachia. Helen Lewis is a native Georgian and professional sociologist who helped found the discipline of Appalachian Studies, an academic movement that combines scholarship, teaching, and community engagement in the South’s mountain region.

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Sort of a milestone

With the posting of this week’s story, we reach a milestone, of sorts. When we first started the Stories of Atlanta, we really didn’t have a plan. We just had all of these facts about the City of Atlanta that we found interesting and, with the thought that others might also find them interesting, we […]