20th Century

September 28, 1892

John Donald Wade

The rock of tradition versus the hard place of progress is an old Southern dilemma. John Donald Wade, born in Marshallville, knew it well. Wade’s deep Georgia roots ran back to his great grandfather, John Adam Treutlen, Georgia's first governor. Teaching at Vanderbilt in the 1920s, Wade helped create one of the seminal books in […]

March 1, 1890

William B. Hartsfield

When you help guide a city through a depression and then, later, guide it through the civil rights era…when you are responsible for Atlanta’s becoming the aviation capital that it is…then it’s fair to say you’ve had an impact. William Hartsfield was mayor of Atlanta longer than any other person. He was born in Atlanta […]

August 5, 1889

Conrad Aiken

A childhood tragedy would haunt poet and author Conrad Aiken all of his life, and provide the psychological foundation for much of his writing. Perhaps Georgia’s most famous poet, Aiken was born in Savannah. When he was only 11 years old, his father killed his mother and then committed suicide. Later, Aiken attended Harvard and […]

February 20, 1888

Ben Epps

Just four years after the Wright brothers, he was the first person to build and fly an airplane in Georgia. Ben Epps was born in Oconee County in 1888. The idea of flying fascinated the gifted mechanic. In 1907, at age 19, he opened the first car repair garage in Athens, where he built and […]

May 10, 1884

Georgia Marble Company Founded

Peaches, peanuts, poultry: Georgia has a lot of all of them. But Pickens County has the most crystalline marble of any place in the world. One of the most highly prized minerals, it’s in 60 percent of the monuments in Washington D.C. Native Americans used north Georgia marble hundreds of years before it was first […]

October 7, 1866

Martha Berry

Martha Berry dedicated her life to education but had only one year of formal schooling herself.  Berry was born in Alabama and moved to Rome, Georgia as a baby. Home-schooled by a governess, Martha Berry attended finishing school in Baltimore for less than a year. Back home in northwest Georgia, a chance encounter with two […]

April 13, 1854

Lucy Craft Laney

To be African-American and born during slavery didn’t necessarily mean you were a slave. Lucy Craft Laney was born in 1854, but her father had purchased freedom for him and his wife. For Laney, freedom meant education. Able to read and write by age four and translate Latin by 12, she joined the first class […]

July 26, 1827

Cherokee Constitution

In the 1820s, the Cherokee nation was carving out a permanent, sovereign home within the United States. Using Sequoyah’s Cherokee syllabary, the tribe could boast almost total literacy. Written laws led to the formation of a Cherokee Supreme Court. New Echota, near present day Calhoun, was established as the authorized capital of the Cherokee nation, […]