Georgia

February 6, 1956

Massive Resistance

The white South’s opposition to court-ordered desegregation in the 1950s was known as “Massive Resistance,” and while Georgia’s reaction wasn’t as violent as other states, it was no less defiant. On this day in 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of the General Assembly and urged lawmakers to invoke the doctrine of interposition […]

February 13, 1956

Georgia Flag Change

It was not a flag that all Georgians could rally around. On this date in 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin signed legislation to change the Georgia flag to one that included the Confederate battle emblem on two-thirds of the banner. Democratic Party leader John Sammons Bell began the campaign a year earlier after two controversial Supreme […]

January 11, 1955

Marvin Griffin

Marvin Griffin ran for governor as a staunch segregationist, but when it came to actually defying federal orders, as he said, “being in jail kind of crimps a governor’s style.” Griffin was born in 1907 in Bainbridge and was elected governor in 1954, six months after the Supreme Court’s decision that outlawed segregated schools. Griffin […]

March 11, 1948

Roy Barnes

He was Georgia’s 80th governor and the only one to win a Profile in Courage award. Roy Barnes was born in Mableton in 1948 and at age 26 won a seat in the Georgia State Senate, where he served for 16 years. After an unsuccessful run for governor in 1990, he served six years in […]

November 17, 1948

Three Governors Controversy

It was one of the most bizarre political episodes in American history. For a brief period of time in 1947, Georgia had three governors. Eugene Talmadge won election to a fourth term as Georgia’s governor in 1946, but died before his inauguration. To fill the vacancy, Eugene’s son, Herman, was appointed by the state Legislature. […]

October 20, 1946

Lewis Grizzard

He would tell Yankee immigrants who found fault with the South: “Delta is ready when you are.” Lewis Grizzard was born in Fort Benning and grew up in Moreland.  He studied journalism at the University of Georgia. After quickly realizing he didn’t belong in Chicago, Grizzard returned to Atlanta to write a humorous regional column […]

December 31, 1946

World War II and Georgia

World War II had a global impact and it transformed Georgia as well. Some 320,000 Georgians served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the war, and thousands of others, including historic numbers of women, served in wartime industries. The war brought an infusion of federal dollars into Georgia. Every major Georgia city housed a military […]

August 29, 1945

Wyomia Tyus

Wyomia Tyus was born to run. The Griffin native became the first athlete to win gold medals in the 100-yard dash in consecutive Olympics. As a 15–year–old African–American competing in the state track championships, she caught the eye of coach Ed Temple of the legendary Tennessee State University Tigerbelles women’s track team. Two years later, […]

February 5, 1945

Poll Tax Abolished

The poll tax, a bulwark of the Jim Crow era, was one of many roadblocks thrown up to keep African-Americans from exercising their right to vote. Although the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1870, guaranteed former male slaves the right to vote, the poll tax, which all voters had to pay was […]

April 12, 1945

FDR Dies at Little White House

Everyone remembered where they were when they heard the news: the president is dead. On this day in 1945, President Franklin Roosevelt died at the Little White House in warm springs. Roosevelt had come to Warm Springs 41 times since 1924. FDR was sitting for a portrait when he complained of a headache. He fainted […]