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Today in Georgia History
is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.

February 24

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Atlanta Journal First Published

February 24, 1883 - Metro Atlanta
It was Atlanta’s most popular newspaper for almost 100 years.

The Atlanta Journal published its first edition in 1883 and the afternoon paper quickly challenged the Constitution, its more established morning rival. E.F. Hoge founded the Journal, then sold it in 1887 to a young lawyer named Hoke Smith for $10,000. President Grover Cleveland appointed Smith secretary of the interior after the Journal’s endorsement in 1892.

Smith sold the Journal in 1900, and popular innovations followed, including a Sunday magazine that published some of the South’s leading writers like Erskine Caldwell and Margaret Mitchell. In March 1922, the Journal started WSB radio.

Media mogul and former presidential candidate James Cox bought the Journal in 1939 and the Constitution in 1950, though the papers maintained separate and fiercely competitive newsrooms. Eroding circulation finally ended the battle and the papers completely merged in 2001.

The newspaper that covered Dixie like the dew was first published on February 24, 1883, Today in Georgia History.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution remains the largest newspaper in the Southeast.