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

October 13

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Georgia Tech Founded

October 13, 1885 - Atlanta

A Ramblin’ Wreck is more than just a snappy nickname for Georgia Tech. It speaks to the very reason the school was created in the first place.

To help bring the Industrial Revolution to Georgia, the Georgia School of Technology began with $65,000 in state funding and 84 students.  At first, the school was narrowly focused, teaching only mechanical engineering but by the turn of the century students also studied chemical, civil, and electrical engineering.

Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $20,000 to build the first library and the legendary John Heisman became the first fulltime football coach in 1903.  When Tech grads designed makeshift vehicles for projects in South American jungles, these contraptions -- and their builders -- became known as Ramblin' Wrecks from Georgia Tech.  The school became Georgia Institute of Technology in 1948 to reflect the greater emphasis on science and advanced technology.

Women began attending in 1951, and ten years later, Tech became the first major state university in the Deep South to admit African American students without a court order. One of the nation's top research universities began on October 13, 1885, Today in Georgia History. 

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Fast Fact

The Ramblin' Wreck, a 1930 Ford Model A Sport coupe, serves as the official mascot of the student body at Georgia Tech