20th century

July 10, 1985

New Coke & Coca-Cola Classic

The greatest marketing blunder ever? Or one of the most ingenious ploys in history to boost sales? In the 1980s, things were not going better for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola. Losing market share to rival Pepsi, Coke executives decided to overhaul their flagship drink: make it even sweeter to win back younger soft-drink consumers who favored Pepsi. […]

July 14, 1976

Jimmy Carter Presidential Nomination

Jimmy who? Jimmy Carter, the original “Washington outsider” to run for the presidency, was still governor of Georgia when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in December 1974. Constitutionally barred from a second term as governor and still young at 50, Carter thought his outsider status, strong principles, and reform agenda […]

July 1, 1946

Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -– the CDC — is located in Atlanta thanks to a pest. During World War II, the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas operated in Atlanta to control malaria in the southeastern states where the mosquito thrived. Most military personnel were trained in the area. American soldiers […]

July 2, 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1964

It was one of the most far-reaching Congressional acts in American history. In 1954, the Supreme Court weighed in in a big way against legalized bigotry. Its landmark decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education outlawed segregated schools. But the invigorated civil rights movement ran head-on into Massive Resistance, a resurgent KKK, and white […]

July 3, 1918

Ernest Vandiver

He was one Southern governor who chose not to stand in the schoolhouse door. Ernest Vandiver was born in Canon, Georgia, in 1918 and graduated from the University of Georgia before serving as a bomber pilot in World War II. Elected governor in 1958, Vandiver cleaned up the state’s image after the scandals and corruption […]

July 4, 1970

Peachtree Road Race

It’s big now, but not to begin with. In 1970, 110 runners lined up for the Atlanta Track Club’s first Peachtree Road Race. The starting line was at the old Sears building at Peachtree and Roswell Road. The finish was 6.2 miles away at Central City Park, now Woodruff Park. Carling Brewery sponsored the first […]

July 5, 1969

Atlanta International Pop Festival

Woodstock may have gotten the headlines but Atlanta was rockin’ a whole month earlier. The Atlanta International Pop Festival of 1969 was a two-day music festival at the Atlanta International Raceway over the Fourth of July weekend. The brainchild of promoter Alex Cooley, tickets cost only $12.50 & $16, and a crowd of 120,000 drank, […]

July 6, 1901

Charles McCartney

It was easy to get Charles McCartney’s goat. Born in Iowa in 1901, McCartney got hurt working for the New Deal WPA in 1935. A religious awakening led him to hitch a team of goats to a wagon and travel the country with his wife and son, dressed in goatskins, preaching the Gospel. Thus was […]

July 8, 1941

Hamilton Holmes

He was valedictorian of his high school class but the University of Georgia wouldn’t let him in. Hamilton Holmes was born in 1941 in Atlanta, the grandson of a doctor. After Holmes’ 1959 graduation from Atlanta’s Henry McNeal Turner High School, Jesse Hill of the NAACP recruited him and fellow Turner grad Charlayne Hunter to […]

June 21, 1981

Atlanta Child Murders

In July 1979, two 14-year-old boys went missing. When police found the bodies of Edward Hope Smith and Alfred Evans, it began a two-year nightmare that held Atlanta in the grip of fear. A serial killer was on the loose, and in the end at least 28 children, teenagers, and adults were victims in what […]