20th century

June 22, 1979

First Home Depot Opened

Getting the stuff to do it yourself got a lot easier on this day in 1979 when the first two Home Depots opened. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank started a chain of large home improvement warehouses that would stock more products, often at lower prices than any competitor or hardware store. Employees knew what was […]

June 25, 1997

Atlanta Thrashers

If Atlanta loses one more hockey team, it will be a hat trick. Hockey and the Deep South have always been something of a forced marriage. The Flames arrived in Atlanta in 1972 and reached the NHL playoffs six times in eight years playing at the Omni. But after years of low attendance and financial […]

June 26, 1918

Prohibition – Georgia Ratifies 18th Amendment

Americans may love individual liberties, but there is a social engineering streak in some of us a mile wide—and when reformers can’t persuade, they try to pass laws. Prohibition in the United States goes back to the 1820s and 30s, during the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Evangelical Protestants organized both temperance […]

June 29, 1993

Georgia Lottery Began

This could be your lucky day and not just because you’re reading this. In Georgia, lotteries have been around since the 18th century. Indian lands were distributed through a lottery in the 19th century. Governor Zell Miller campaigned promising an education lottery, and in 1991 the legislature passed an amendment to Georgia’s constitution that designated […]

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 […]

June 18, 1927

George Heery

As was said of the great architect Christopher Wren, if you wish to know his legacy, look around you. George Heery was born in Athens in 1927. After a stint in the Pacific theater in the Navy during World War II, he earned an architectural degree at Georgia Tech. George and his father founded the […]

June 13, 1977

James Earl Ray

The man who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a small-time crook with big ambitions. James Earl Ray was born in Alton, Illinois, in 1928. After spending some time in the Army, he robbed gas stations and grocery stores. First convicted in 1949, Ray was serving a 20-year prison sentence in Missouri when he […]

June 14, 1923

Fiddlin’ John Carson

Farmer, railroad worker, horse jockey, moonshiner and country music’s first big star — that was John William Carson. Fannin County native fiddlin’ John Carson was a colorful character who played every year at the Georgia old-time fiddlers’ conventions in Atlanta beginning in 1913. He first gained fame performing “The Ballad Of Mary Phagan” during the […]

June 16, 1967

Six Flags Over Georgia Opens

If you love roller coasters, you probably should thank Six Flags. Opened in 1967, the park takes its name from the six flags that have flown over some part of Georgia during its long history—Spain, France, Great Britain, the United States, the Confederacy, and the state of Georgia. Angus Wynne had opened Six Flags over […]

June 7, 1935

Harry Crews

He was hailed as a bold new Southern writer in the Southern Gothic tradition, with his books populated by strange characters in a brutal and darkly humorous South. It was a world Harry Crews knew well. Born in Bacon County in 1935 to poor farmers, Crews grew up with a violent and drunken uncle who […]