20th century

April 3, 2004

Dominique Wilkins

His basketball skills were so great that he was called the “human highlight film.” Dominique Wilkins was born in 1960 in France, where his father was serving in the Air Force. After playing high school basketball in North Carolina, Wilkins came to the University of Georgia in 1979 to play for coach Hugh Durham. Wilkins […]

April 6, 1936

Gainesville Tornado of 1936

It was one of the worst weather-related disasters in Georgia history. The tornado that struck Gainesville on this day in 1936 was part of a devastating outbreak of 17 tornadoes across the South. And it wasn’t the first for Gainesville- another tornado killed more than 100 people in January 1903. In 1936, two F4 tornadoes […]

March 22, 1934

First Masters Tournament Begins

A Masters from Georgia. Not a degree in Athens –- a golf tournament in Augusta. And it was a hit off the first tee. After golfer Bobby Jones retired, he and businessman Clifford Roberts developed a national landmark. Jones brought credibility, while Roberts had business savvy. Jones and noted golf course architect Alister Mackenzie designed […]

March 25, 1925

Flannery O’Connor

She was one of Georgia’s most famous literary figures. Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah in 1925 and graduated from Georgia State College for Women. Then it was on to the University of Iowa, home to the famous Writers’ Workshop, where she rubbed elbows with some of America’s leading writers. Moving to New York, […]

March 26, 1925

James Moody

The man had sax appeal: tenor, alto, and soprano. James Moody, born in Savannah in 1925, began playing the saxophone at 16, despite being hard of hearing. After an Army Air Force hitch in World War II, he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, mastering and helping create the complex, challenging new jazz called be-bop. His […]

March 29, 1937

Billy Carter

“Yes, I’m a real southern boy,” he told reporters. “I’ve got a red neck, white socks, and drink Blue Ribbon beer.” Billy Carter was born in Plains in 1937. After their father’s death, Billy resented his older brother Jimmy returning home to run the family business and joined the Marines instead. Billy ran the business […]

March 14, 1921

Truett Cathy

While $3.5 billion in sales a year, is not, as the saying has it, chicken feed, Truett Cathy’s family-owned corporation feeds a lot of people a lot of chicken. Born in Atlanta in 1921, Cathy came up during the Great Depression. With a deep spirituality and a determined work ethic, he opened the Dwarf Grill, […]

March 15, 1911

Ivan Allen, Jr.

He was Atlanta’s mayor for eight years in the 1960s, and he was the only Southern politician to testify in favor of the Civil Rights Act. Ivan Allen Jr. was born in Atlanta in 1911 and graduated from Georgia Tech before joining his father’s office supply company. Allen served in World War II. Afterwards, he […]

March 10, 1924

Tom Murphy

For 28 years, if Mr. Tom said no, state legislation didn’t pass. Tom Murphy was born in 1924 in Bremen and graduated from North Georgia College. He fought in the Pacific for the U.S. Navy in World War II, and then went to the University of Georgia Law School. Murphy entered the legislature in 1961. […]

March 11, 1948

Roy Barnes

He was Georgia’s 80th governor and the only one to win a Profile in Courage award. Roy Barnes was born in Mableton in 1948 and at age 26 won a seat in the Georgia State Senate, where he served for 16 years. After an unsuccessful run for governor in 1990, he served six years in […]