nineteenth century

October 8, 1895

Liberty Bell in Atlanta

It doesn't get around much anymore, but the Liberty Bell came to Atlanta on this date in 1895 for the Cotton States Exposition. It almost didn't. The famously–cracked 2,000 pound pealer left Philadelphia on seven trips between 1885 and 1915. Each time it came home with more cracks. It turned out the men hired to […]

September 26, 1865

Archibald Butt

Three Georgians died on the Titanic. One of them was Archibald Butt.  He was born in Augusta on this day in 1865. Archie Butt became a journalist for the Macon Telegraph. The Atlanta Constitution made him its Washington correspondent.  The U.S. State Department appointed him Secretary of the American Embassy in Mexico. He was there […]

September 15, 1831

Worcester v. Georgia

The beginnings of the infamous Cherokee Trail of Tears could well be traced to a Lawrenceville courtroom.  During the 1820s, Governor George Gilmer made Cherokee removal a top priority. But in 1827, the Cherokee Nation established a government and declared themselves sovereign.  In response, furious Georgia leaders abolished Cherokee government, and annexed Cherokee land.  Meanwhile, […]

September 20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga

Only Gettysburg was bloodier than the Battle of Chickamauga that ended in northwest Georgia on this day in 1863.  Three months earlier, the Union Army had begun a strategy to capture Chattanooga, a major railroad hub and gateway to the Deep South.  General William Rosecrans' U.S. Army of the Cumberland, and General Braxton Bragg's Confederate […]

September 21, 1863

Clark Howell

The man who helped Henry Grady promote Atlanta as the heart of the “New South” was born in South Carolina.  Georgia newspaper editor Clark Howell was the son of a former Confederate artillery captain. His father bought a half–interest in the Atlanta Constitution in 1876 and hired Henry Grady and Joel Chandler Harris to work […]

September 24, 1889

Agnes Scott College

Its beautiful campus has hosted more than 20 movies and TV shows. It opened in 1889 as the Decatur Female Seminary. As Agnes Scott College, it's become a preeminent institution of women's higher education.  In 1888, Frank Gaines became pastor of the Decatur Presbyterian Church. With church support, he founded the seminary the next year […]

September 10, 1836

Joseph Wheeler

He would serve under the Stars and Stripes and the Stars and Bars in major wars. Born in Augusta, Joseph Wheeler graduated near the bottom of his class at West Point. He earned the nickname “Fighting Joe” in the U.S. Army on the western frontier. But his courage and skill as a Confederate cavalry commander […]

September 11, 1894

Helen Douglas Mankin

An ambulance driver, a lawyer and the first woman elected to Congress from Georgia* — all stops along the way for Helen Douglas Mankin. Mankin was the daughter of two lawyers. She drove an ambulance in France during World War I, and then graduated from Atlanta Law School, which her father helped found. She and […]

September 3, 1888

Thomas Milton Rivers

Viruses and bacteria are two very different things. We know that now thanks to a pioneering scientist born in Jonesboro. Known as the father of modern virology, Thomas Milton Rivers also had a hand in the development of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine. Rivers graduated from Emory College and went on to Johns Hopkins Medical School. […]

September 8, 1807

Horace King

Horace King, one of the most renowned bridge builders in Georgia and American history, was born a slave in Chesterfield, South Carolina. His owner, John Godwin, brought him to the Columbus area in 1830 and together they built the first bridge across the Chattahoochee River connecting Georgia and Alabama. Godwin recognized King’s talents as both […]