20th century

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 […]

August 25, 1913

Walt Kelly

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The cartoonist who gave us that famous quote was born on this day in 1913, in Philadelphia. Walt Kelly worked as a Disney animator before launching Pogo in 1948. The comic strip was set in Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. It ran nationally for 25 years and was […]

August 26, 1903

Caroline Miller

The first Georgian to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction was a woman who never went to college. Caroline Miller was born in Waycross and published her first novel, Lamb in His Bosom in 1933. It won the Pulitzer the next year. While Miller worked every day as a housewife and raised three children, she […]

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, […]

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, […]

August 30, 1979

Jimmy Carter Rabbit Episode

On August 30, 1979, some bad news broke for President Jimmy Carter. It involved Carter’s fending off a rabbit on a fishing trip in southwest Georgia back in April. What appeared to be an amusing story in an outdoorsman’s life came to symbolize a perception by some of an ineffective Carter presidency. Carter was alone […]

August 31, 1992

Charles Weltner

He was a Georgia congressman who courageously spoke out for racial equality at a time when few white leaders did. Charles Weltner was born in 1927 in Atlanta and graduated from Columbia School of Law before a stint in the U.S. Army. As an Atlanta lawyer, he spoke out against racial violence in the wake […]

August 13, 1921

Georgia Women Gain Vote

The women of Georgia finally got the right to vote on this day in 1921 when Governor Thomas Hardwick signed the act that made it official. The suffrage movement had been slow to gain ground in the South. Many women joined men in arguing that there was no more important job than wife and mother, […]

August 14, 1900

Dutchy — Confederate Monument in Elberton

On August 14, 1900, cloaked in darkness, a group of Elberton citizens toppled the town’s Civil War monument. The next day, they buried it. These were not anti–Confederate activists. On the contrary, Elberton, like many Southern towns in the 1890s, wanted to honor the lost cause. It also wanted to promote its new granite industry […]

August 18, 1965

Beatles Play Atlanta

On August 18, 1965, the Beatles made their only Georgia appearance at a concert in Atlanta Stadium. Beatlemania was in full swing that summer and Atlanta’s anticipation was high. The Atlanta Journal had a story about how to give a Beatle haircut. At a pre–concert press conference Mayor Ivan Allen gave the Beatles the keys […]