20th century

July 16, 1963

Carl Vinson

Carl Vinson believed public service was an honorable profession, and by the time he retired, he had served in Congress longer than anyone in history. Vinson was born in Baldwin County in 1883. In 1914 he became the youngest member of Congress and served over 50 years, 25 consecutive terms. Vinson became an expert on […]

August 4, 1919

Nellie Peters

Organize and reform was Mary Ellen Peters’ mantra long before unions adopted it. Nellie Peters was born in Atlanta in 1851. After her husband died, she became an active reformer. With seven children of her own, she was a fierce advocate of free kindergartens and hospitals, compulsory education, diversified farming, and the enforcement of child […]

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 […]

July 24, 1962

Kevin Butler

The Butler did it: a familiar phrase when Kevin Butler was kicking footballs. Butler was born in Savannah in 1962 and attended Redan High School in Stone Mountain, where he was a four-year letterman in both football and soccer. As a two-time football All American at the University of Georgia, Butler kicked the Dawgs to […]

July 25, 1972

Atlanta Hosts Baseball’s All-Star Game

Baseball fans, how about this for an outfield trio? Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Willie Stargell. That’s who started for the National League in the first All-Star Game ever played in Atlanta at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on this day in 1972. Although the Braves had hosted the mid-summer classic two times before- once […]

July 28, 1913

Leo Frank Trial

Leo Frank went on trial for his life on this day in 1913. Frank, a New York Jew, was manager of the National Pencil Factory in Atlanta, accused of raping and murdering a 13-year-old employee named Mary Phagan. He was the last person to acknowledge having seen Phagan alive, and police arrested him despite strong […]

July 17, 1924

Olive Ann Burns

Cold Sassy Tree, a coming of age tale set in turn of the century Georgia, was inspired by some bad news. Olive Ann Burns was a writer for the Atlanta Constitution in 1975 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She walked out of the doctor’s office determined to write a novel. Born in Banks County […]

July 18, 2000

Paul Coverdell

He was the first Republican Senator from Georgia since Reconstruction, but he made sure he wouldn’t be the last. Paul Coverdell was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1939 and moved to Atlanta in his teens. After graduating from the University of Missouri, Coverdell served in the Army and returned to Atlanta to work for […]

July 19, 1996

Atlanta Olympics Begin

For 17 days in 1996, Atlanta was the center of the world. In 1990, the International Olympic Committee chose Atlanta for the site of the centennial Olympics over five other cities. The games were the brainchild of Atlanta attorney Billy Payne. He and Mayor Andrew Young were the prime architects of the winning bid. The […]

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 […]