Posts

Our debt of gratitude

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 […]

Making radio better

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 […]

Marketing in the 1800s

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 […]

He was only doing his job

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 […]

They deserved a monument

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 […]

The Grand Master got the honor

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 […]

Not exactly a favorite son

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 […]

A return visit

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 […]

It changed his life

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 […]

A caring parent makes a difference

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 […]

Turning defeat into victory

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.

Worthy of a painting

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 […]

The Merry Mutes

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.

Change is a fact of life

As the saying goes, the fastest way from here to there is a straight line.  But, sometimes, it is not that simple.  These days, there are any number of possible impediments to a speedy trip: roadwork . . . detours . . . even street names.  Over the years, many of Atlanta’s streets have gone through multiple monikers.  This […]

The City Center

It is Atlanta’s most historic intersection. But in the early years of Atlanta, Five Points was the junction of Peachtree, Whitehall, Decatur, Marietta and Line Street. Two decades after the Civil War, though, things changed for Five Points, thanks primarily to the efforts of one man as you will see in this week’s Stories of […]

Connected to the past

Near the core of the Georgia State campus sits a Victorian structure that seems a bit out of place. Amid the multi-story buildings that line the street, it stands out in its uniqueness. With a gabled roof and turreted facade, what is today the home of the University’s Baptist Student Union resembles none of the […]

They called it Country

This week, it’s sort of a ‘road not taken’ tale, a story of what might have been. Atlanta in the early 1900s had developed quite the music scene. And that scene got a whole lot bigger when, in 1922, WSB radio signed on the air and immediately began looking for talent to fill air time. […]

A campaign promise fulfilled

It turns out that two of Atlanta’s iconic structures share a common heritage, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Who knew? Trick question…we knew. Which is why, this week it’s a two for one special on Stories of Atlanta.