20th century

August 19, 1921

Ty Cobb Gets 3000th Hit

The man known as “the Georgia Peach” reached a major milestone on this day in 1921. At age 34, baseball great and Georgia native Ty Cobb got career hit number 3000, the youngest player to reach that plateau. Cobb was born in Narrows, Georgia, in 1886 and grew up in nearby Royston. He joined the […]

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.” […]

August 23, 1961

Desegregation in Atlanta

When four African Americans came to Atlanta’s Bitsy Grant Tennis Center on this day in 1961, they found a sign waiting for them: closed for repairs. White Atlantans fiercely resisted desegregating the city’s parks, pools, and golf courses. City buses had always been contested terrain but Atlanta’s recreational facilities had by long custom been “whites […]

August 12, 1909

Boll Weevil in Georgia

How much would you pay to kill a pest? On this day in 1909, the Georgia General Assembly formally asked the U.S. Congress for a $5 million prize to the first person to eliminate the boll weevil. This was six years before the cotton–consuming pest even appeared in Georgia. Cotton had been Georgia’s premier staple […]

August 9, 1967

Deion Sanders

One of the most gifted and versatile athletes in Georgia sports history was born on this day in Fort Myers, Fla. Former Atlanta Brave and Atlanta Falcon Deion Sanders earned the nicknames “Neon Deion” and “Primetime.” His athletic talent was matched only by his flair for self-promotion and showmanship. Sanders was drafted out of Florida […]

August 11, 1938

FDR’s Controversial Speech in Barnesville

Sometimes even the best politicians can make big mistakes. President Franklin Roosevelt took a risk on this day in 1938 in Barnesville, Georgia. Giving a speech, he openly campaigned against Georgia Senator Walter George, who was sitting directly behind him. Running for re–election, George had become an outspoken opponent of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. The […]

July 29, 1912

Clarence Jordan Born

The good work of Habitat for Humanity can be traced back to a progressive religious leader born on this day in 1912. Clarence Jordan was born in Talbotton. After studying agriculture at the University of Georgia, he became an ordained Baptist minister. Believing that God regarded people of all races as equals, Jordan combined his […]

July 30, 1961

Laurence Fishburne

He is the first African-American to play Othello in a major movie, following in the footsteps of Lawrence Olivier and Orson Welles. Laurence Fishburne was born in Augusta in 1961. His mother moved the family to Brooklyn, where Fishburne grew up. He’s been acting almost all his life, beginning with the soap opera One Life […]

July 31, 1960

Atlanta Motor Speedway

For those who like making continuous left-hand turns, it’s the place to be. One of the oldest stops on the NASCAR circuit, the Atlanta Motor Speedway, held its first race on this day in 1960. A crowd of 25,000 watched Glenn “Fireball” Roberts ride to victory lane. The racetrack was built in the wake of […]

July 9, 1936

Chattahoochee National Forest

Anyone who has ever taken a walk in the woods in north Georgia knows that the Chattahoochee National Forest is one of the state’s great treasures. But it wasn’t always so. At the turn of the 20th century, the forest had been abused and overused, the victims of hydraulic mining, overcutting and poor land and […]