Georgia

January 31, 1944

Thomas Hardwick

Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, as we see in the story of former Georgia Governor Thomas Hardwick. Born in Thomasville in 1872, Hardwick served in the state legislature in the 1890s as a staunch advocate of disenfranchising black voters. Yet later, he lost an election by opposing the Ku Klux Klan. Hardwick also served […]

February 9, 1944

Alice Walker

She was born in Eatonton in 1944 and at age 8 she was blinded in one eye by a BB gun fired by her brother, a traumatic event that crippled her self-confidence. She was eventually homecoming queen and valedictorian at Butler-Baker High School. But it was Alice Walker’s searing literary portraits of African-American life and […]

August 24, 1942

Max Cleland

A Georgia hero was born in Atlanta on this day in 1942. Joseph Maxwell Cleland — “Max” — grew up in Lithonia. While enrolled at Emory, Cleland joined the Army and went to Vietnam. On April 8, 1968, Capt. Cleland was serving in the 1st Cavalry Division at Khe Sanh when he lost both legs […]

November 26, 1941

FDR Establishes Thanksgiving

It can fall on any day between November 22 and 28, depending on the year, but it hasn’t always been the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is an American tradition that goes back to 1621, when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians celebrated their shared harvest. American colonists routinely marked days of Thanksgiving, and in […]

February 21, 1940

John Lewis

He courageously put his life on the line many times during the civil rights movement and has become one of the most respected members of Congress. John Lewis was born to sharecroppers in Alabama, in 1940. He encountered the ugliness and brutality of racism while participating in sit-ins as a student at Fisk University in […]

November 19, 1938

Ted Turner

Known affectionately as the “Mouth of the South, he created a TV and sports empire that dramatically altered the media landscape. Robert Edward “Ted” Turner was born in Cincinnati in 1938. When he was nine, his family moved to Savannah. Turner took over his father’s billboard company after his father’s suicide and began expanding the […]

February 11, 1936

Burt Reynolds

It started with Deliverance in 1972. From there, Burt Reynolds “delivered” a lot of film business to the state of Georgia. As he was becoming Hollywood’s biggest box office draw for five years running, Georgia became number three in the nation for film production behind only New York and California. Burton Leon Reynolds, Jr. was […]

August 20, 1933

Georgians at Chicago World’s Fair

On August 20, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge led 500 Georgians to Chicago’s Second World’s Fair, where it was Georgia Day. The fair was officially known as the “Century of Progress Exposition.” With the country mired in the Great Depression, Gov. Talmadge predicted “events of this kind will surely turn the trick and bring back prosperity.” […]

January 10, 1933

Eugene Talmadge

Eugene Talmadge ran for Georgia governor five times. He won four. He served three and was, to put it mildly, quite a character. Born near Forsyth in 1884, he was known as the farmer’s champion. “I can carry any county,” he boasted, “that ain’t got street cars.” Talmadge fired elected officials who resisted his authority. […]

March 3, 1932

Joseph M. Brown

He was the son of a Georgia governor and served two terms as governor himself. Joseph M. Brown was born in Canton in 1851. His father Joseph E. Brown was Georgia’s controversial governor during the Civil War and one of the most accomplished politicians in Georgia history. “Little Joe Brown,” as his family called him, […]