20th Century

November 3, 1992

Cynthia McKinney

She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia. Cynthia McKinney was born in Atlanta to Billy McKinney, one of Atlanta’s first African-American police officers and a longtime member of the state legislature. Her father was known for his fiery spirit, and his daughter was no different. In 1988, Cynthia followed her father […]

June 17, 1992

Grace Towns Hamilton

She was the first African-American woman elected to the Georgia Legislature. Grace Towns Hamilton was born in Atlanta in 1907. She graduated from Atlanta University in 1927 before earning a masters degree in psychology from Ohio State. Hamilton taught college for the next decade before she was appointed executive director of the Atlanta Urban League […]

May 27, 1991

Ed Dodd

He combined the two great loves of his life into a comic strip that taught an entire generation about the great outdoors. Ed Dodd was born in Lafayette in 1902. A true outdoorsman, Dodd worked at a Pennsylvania boys’ camp, as a Gainesville scoutmaster and physical education teacher, at a Wyoming dude ranch, as a […]

November 29, 1991

Frank Yerby

An African-American with a best-selling novel — a book that was turned into a movie — that was unheard of in the America of the late 1940s. Yet Frank Yerby did just that. Born in Augusta in 1916 to racially mixed parents, Yerby, all his life, had trouble being accepted in either black or white […]

October 15, 1991

Clarence Thomas Confirmation

He became only the second African-American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court—and one of its most controversial members. Clarence Thomas was born in Pinpoint, Georgia, in 1948 and was raised by his grandfather as a devout Catholic. He planned to join the priesthood but left the seminary after encountering racial prejudice. Instead, he graduated […]

April 11, 1990

Vidalia Onion: Georgia’s Official Veggie

When it comes to Vidalias, no one ever says “hold the onions.” Looking for a new cash crop during the Great Depression, Mose Coleman of Toombs County tried onions, thinking they would be hot. Instead they turned out sweet….and popular. Other farmers followed his lead and an industry was born. During the 1940s, the state […]

July 20, 1988

Democratic National Convention

The Democratic Party came to Atlanta in 1988 to choose its champion to take on Vice President George Bush, the shoo-in republican nominee as President Reagan’s heir apparent. By the time Democrats gathered at the Omni in Atlanta for four days in July 1988, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis had won a hotly contested nomination […]

July 23, 1988

John Smoltz

John Smoltz was a major part of the Atlanta Braves championship teams of the 1990s. Smoltz was born in Michigan in 1967. His favorite team, the Detroit Tigers, drafted him in 1985 but traded him to the Braves two years later, a move they’d regret many times. For 21 seasons, he was one of the […]

November 28, 1987

R.E.M.

They were the quintessential college rock band of the 1980s, working in the town Rolling Stone called “the best college music scene in the country.” Michael Stipe was an art student at the University of Georgia when he met Peter Buck at the Wuxtry Record store in Athens. Together with Mike Mills and Bill Berry, […]

February 16, 1985

Phil Niekro

Knucksie won more games after age 40 than any pitcher in Major League history. Phil Niekro, one of the most popular Atlanta Braves of all time, was born in Ohio in 1939. He made his big league debut with the Milwaukee Braves in 1964 before they moved to Atlanta in ‘66. He earned that nickname […]