In 1926, an airplane hangar was constructed on a dirt field south of town. History would ultimately describe that act as the work of visionaries. That vision was articulated by Alderman William Hartsfield when he said, “The skies will be to the 20th century what the seas have been to centuries past, and the city […]
In the Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, there is a street named after Ruben Cone. A former judge from the City of Decatur, Cone moved to Marthasville in the 1840s and shortly after he arrived he made a decision. And if you’ve ever doubted the power of the individual to make a difference, you should […]
The occasion was a somber one. A group of friends had gathered in an Atlanta bar to toast the memory of one of their comrades who had tragically died earlier that same day. As the drinks flowed, a plan was hatched to memorialize their friend by having an Atlanta street named after him. Despite the […]
It is common knowledge that Atlanta got its start as a railroad town. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the influence of the railroads reached far and wide across our city. But you might not realize just how far and how wide that influence actually ran. Which is why we decided to tackle the question […]
As they say, “there are two sides to every coin,” a fact of life that Atlantans in the late 1800s knew all too well. The City’s success as a railroad town brought wealth and distinction but that success also brought to town a life-threatening problem. Thankfully, Atlanta was filled with clever people who devised a […]
When one thinks of influential Atlantans who played a role in shaping our city, a lot of names come to mind. Frank Quarles, however, is probably not one of them, and that’s a shame. The Reverend Frank Quarles was a former slave who founded Atlanta’s Friendship Baptist Church and his role in shaping the future […]
There are two main lessons to be learned from the movie “A Christmas Story.” First and foremost, don’t shoot your eye out. Running a close second, play your cards right, and you just might win a major award. Where we may have some disagreement is on just exactly what constitutes “a major award?” Perhaps we […]
To be sure, there are wonderful experiences to be had in the world of retail shopping but, sadly, the days of the grand department store have come and gone. So much so, that generations of people today have no recollection of a time when shopping meant a trip downtown. And though it is unlikely that […]
How many times every day do you have your picture taken? By some estimates, which include security cameras, it’s about 75 times. That’s a lot of pictures and it’s one of those 21st century statistics that wouldn’t even translate to Atlantans in the 1800s. Back in the day, having one’s image captured was a rare […]
Shakespeare had it right, “the play’s the thing.” And that was especially true of Atlanta in the 1890s. The theater was the dominant form of entertainment and, as you would expect, it was an industry that gave many people a chance to make money. One such Atlantan was Martin J. Dooley who made a nice […]
It is not hard to imagine how difficult life must have been for America’s early settlers. Most of us today would be ill-equipped at, best, to walk out into the wilderness and make a home for ourselves. In the 1800s however, it would have been expected of you. Tales abound in American history of the […]
A lot can happen in one year. Just look what has happened this year and the year is not even over. It may have taken a different form and a different pace back in the day, but innovation and change have always been a part of life. This week, we go back to 1928 and […]
I can think of at least two residents of Metro Atlanta that have tossed their hat into the Presidential candidate’s ring. Maybe there are more, but, has there ever been a Presidential candidate who was actually a resident of the City of Atlanta? Our friend Greg Hodges asked that question and the answer he discovered […]
In November of 1864, having occupied Atlanta for a little over two months, William Sherman left the city to continue his march to the sea. About three miles out, he paused briefly and gazed back at Atlanta. Years later he wrote of that moment, “Behind us lay Atlanta smoldering and in ruins, the black smoke […]
Donn’s father was a well-respected mathematics and psychology professor. He was, in fact, the chairman of the mathematics department of an Oklahoma university. Unfortunately for Donn, he lost his father at the age of six months to Leukemia. The family moved to Atlanta, where Donn would graduate from Booker T. Washington high school. It was […]
History is replete with examples of the power of one person making a difference. There are, in fact, so many examples of the ability of one person to affect change that what is surprising is that we still marvel when it happens. Such is the case with Selena Butler as we see in this week’s […]
William Hartsfield’s re-election bid – in 1940 – ended in defeat to Roy LeCraw. But, in spite of this, Hartsfield’s political career was nowhere near over. Events brewing far from Atlanta would have an effect on the entire world, including Atlanta’s City Hall, as you will see in this week’s Stories of Atlanta.
In Washington, D.C., there is a memorial to Major General James B. McPherson. It was erected after his Civil War death in Atlanta. When McPherson fell, his 2nd in command led the charge. Several years later, John Logan’s wartime exploits were commemorated by Logan himself. The result of his efforts stands to this day and that is the […]
To everything there is a season. That is true of the little things as well as the big things. In 1918, Atlantans saw the end of a season that would never come again. It is a story we tell in this week’s Stories of Atlanta.
In the 1950s, a regular act at the Henry Grady Hotel was a comedy duo known for not talking. They called themselves The Merry Mutes and their deceptively simple act consisted of lip syncing to popular songs of the day.