People Places and Environments

May 11, 1803

Georgia’s First Land Lottery

Georgia’s lottery is nothing new. Between 1805 and 1833, the state held eight land lotteries. Seventy-five percent of Georgia was sold to roughly 100,000 people for bargain prices. As land-hungry Georgians began migrating westward after the American Revolution, the state negotiated treaties with the Creek and Cherokee tribes—or simply took their land—and then distributed the […]

May 17, 1749

Slavery in Colonial Georgia

At a time when slavery thrived in the American colonies, Georgia, you may be surprised, was alone in banning it. But it wasn’t a moral decision. The Georgia Trustees prohibited slavery because it conflicted with their vision of small landowners prospering from their own labor. They also wanted Georgia to serve as a military buffer […]

May 10, 1884

Georgia Marble Company Founded

Peaches, peanuts, poultry: Georgia has a lot of all of them. But Pickens County has the most crystalline marble of any place in the world. One of the most highly prized minerals, it’s in 60 percent of the monuments in Washington D.C. Native Americans used north Georgia marble hundreds of years before it was first […]

February 8, 1917

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Established

Two things stood between U.S. General William Sherman and Atlanta in the spring of 1864: Kennesaw Mountain and Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s Army of Tennessee. Johnston, fighting a defensive campaign, slowed and frustrated Sherman as he tried to move south. Twenty miles northwest of Atlanta, Johnston set his army in a strong line along Kennesaw […]

April 19, 1979

Azaleas and Callaway Gardens

Azaleas have been grown for hundreds of years in Asia, Europe, and North America. Descended from Asian shrubs, they are a form of rhododendron, with at least 17 species native to North America. One of the best places to see them is Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, home to the world’s largest azalea garden. […]

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 19, 1806

James Jackson

It started as a swindle and ended up as a landmark Supreme Court case. In 1795, Georgia passed the Yazoo Land Act, selling 35 million acres of western land—most of present-day Alabama and Mississippi—to four land companies for $500,000, about 1.5 cents an acre, far below its value. Opponents cried foul: many legislators owned shares […]

February 25, 1864

First POWs at Andersonville Prison

One of the most notorious sites in American history, Andersonville Prison in southwest Georgia, accepted the first U.S. prisoners of war on this day in 1864. Andersonville — built to hold 10,000 prisoners — ended up holding three times that thanks to the halt of prisoner exchanges during Grant’s campaign in Virginia. Conditions were bad […]

February 14, 1779

Battle of Kettle Creek

Georgians weren’t feeling the love, even if it was Valentine’s Day. The Battle of Kettle Creek was fought during the American Revolution on this day in 1779. 600 loyalists from Georgia and the Carolinas were camped on the creek, which flows into the Little River in Wilkes County, Georgia’s backcountry in those days. The British […]