The right side of history
Ivan Allen Jr. served two terms as the mayor of Atlanta, but his two terms happened to coincide with one of the most tumultuous times in America, let alone Georgia. Allen was mayor of the city during most of the 1960s. He succeeded the longest serving mayor of our city when William B. Hartsfield retired from politics.
One of Allen’s first duties as mayor took him to Paris to serve as Atlanta’s public face when a plane crash at Orly Airport killed 130 people…103 of whom were art patrons from Atlanta. The 1962 plane crash was a devastating loss for the city’s art community.
The following year, Ivan Allen Jr. answered a call from President John F. Kennedy, a call that bring him to Washington D.C. for a date with destiny. We talk a look back at Allen’s courageous act in this week’s Stories of Atlanta.