Georgia

June 13, 1977

James Earl Ray

The man who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a small-time crook with big ambitions. James Earl Ray was born in Alton, Illinois, in 1928. After spending some time in the Army, he robbed gas stations and grocery stores. First convicted in 1949, Ray was serving a 20-year prison sentence in Missouri when he […]

July 14, 1976

Jimmy Carter Presidential Nomination

Jimmy who? Jimmy Carter, the original “Washington outsider” to run for the presidency, was still governor of Georgia when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in December 1974. Constitutionally barred from a second term as governor and still young at 50, Carter thought his outsider status, strong principles, and reform agenda […]

November 7, 1972

Andrew Young

If there was a Mt. Rushmore for civil rights icons, Andrew Young would be on it. But his achievements go well beyond civil rights: Young has served as congressman, United Nations ambassador and mayor of Atlanta. Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1932. He became involved in the civil rights movement […]

May 31, 1971

Jimmy Carter on Cover of Time Magazine

Jimmy Carter first ran for governor in 1966 as a moderate, losing to Lester Maddox. He wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. In 1970, Carter ran as the candidate of the ordinary guy, making not-so-subtle racial appeals to white conservative Georgians. In the Democratic primary, he denounced former Governor Carl Sanders as a crony of […]

April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Now he belongs to the ages.” That was said of Abraham Lincoln. It applies no less to Martin Luther King Jr. King was planning a “Poor People’s March” on Washington in 1968 when he went to Memphis to help striking black sanitation workers. The civil rights leader had broadened his approach, speaking out against poverty, […]

June 16, 1967

Six Flags Over Georgia Opens

If you love roller coasters, you probably should thank Six Flags. Opened in 1967, the park takes its name from the six flags that have flown over some part of Georgia during its long history—Spain, France, Great Britain, the United States, the Confederacy, and the state of Georgia. Angus Wynne had opened Six Flags over […]

July 2, 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1964

It was one of the most far-reaching Congressional acts in American history. In 1954, the Supreme Court weighed in in a big way against legalized bigotry. Its landmark decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education outlawed segregated schools. But the invigorated civil rights movement ran head-on into Massive Resistance, a resurgent KKK, and white […]

August 28, 1963

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

It was 17 minutes that changed history. On August 28, 1963, native Georgian Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. The speech is widely regarded as one of the most eloquent and memorable in American history. The March on Washington, coordinated by A. Phillip Randolph, […]

July 24, 1962

Kevin Butler

The Butler did it: a familiar phrase when Kevin Butler was kicking footballs. Butler was born in Savannah in 1962 and attended Redan High School in Stone Mountain, where he was a four-year letterman in both football and soccer. As a two-time football All American at the University of Georgia, Butler kicked the Dawgs to […]

August 23, 1961

Desegregation in Atlanta

When four African Americans came to Atlanta’s Bitsy Grant Tennis Center on this day in 1961, they found a sign waiting for them: closed for repairs. White Atlantans fiercely resisted desegregating the city’s parks, pools, and golf courses. City buses had always been contested terrain but Atlanta’s recreational facilities had by long custom been “whites […]