twentieth century

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 […]

March 7, 1951

Ezzard Charles

The heavyweight boxing champion called the “Cincinnati Cobra” was actually a Georgia native. Ezzard Charles was born in Lawrenceville in 1921 and moved to Cincinnati when he was young. He fought in boxing’s golden age, when the sport was second only to baseball in popularity. Charles is among the pantheon of great boxers and he […]

March 8, 1949

Television Broadcasting in Georgia

Reaching for the TV remote is such a habit now, it’s hard to imagine Atlanta viewers were once thrilled to have two TV stations to watch. In late 1948, WSB-TV was it. It was six months before you could change channels. Then, on this day in 1949, WAGA went on the air. On a set […]

January 31, 1944

Thomas Hardwick

Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, as we see in the story of former Georgia Governor Thomas Hardwick. Born in Thomasville in 1872, Hardwick served in the state legislature in the 1890s as a staunch advocate of disenfranchising black voters. Yet later, he lost an election by opposing the Ku Klux Klan. Hardwick also served […]

March 3, 1932

Joseph M. Brown

He was the son of a Georgia governor and served two terms as governor himself. Joseph M. Brown was born in Canton in 1851. His father Joseph E. Brown was Georgia’s controversial governor during the Civil War and one of the most accomplished politicians in Georgia history. “Little Joe Brown,” as his family called him, […]

January 25, 1999

Robert Shaw

The arts, he said, are not the privilege of the few, but the necessity of us all. Robert Shaw put the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra – and Chorus – on the international map. As a choral director, he was an innovator who had no equal. He singlehandedly elevated the symphonic chorus to parity with the symphonic […]

February 29, 1940

Gone With the Wind Wins 8 Oscars

It was one of the most popular movies ever made and is forever linked to the state of Georgia. Gone With the Wind producer David O. Selznick had worried that Civil War movies usually bombed at the box office, and making the movie itself had been a mammoth undertaking. Selznick interviewed 1400 actors and conducted […]

February 28, 1940

Joe South

Joseph Souter was born in Atlanta on this day in 1940. After meeting disc jockey Bill Lowery, he shortened his name to Joe South. He played in Lowery’s house band at National Recording Corporation in Atlanta. So did Ray Stevens and Jerry Reed. His first success came writing songs for other performers: “Untie Me” for […]

March 4, 1944

Eighth Air Force Bombs Berlin

It suffered the highest casualty rate of any American forces in World War II. The Eighth Air Force was organized in Savannah in January 1942 as part of the U.S. Army Air Forces. Its mission was straightforward, but easier said than flown: bombing heavily defended strategic and military targets in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. The […]

February 26, 1926

Tiger Flowers

He took a Bible with him into the ring. Dubbed the “Georgia Deacon,” he was the first black boxer to be middleweight champion of the world. Theodore “Tiger” Flowers was born in Camilla in 1895 and started boxing at 18. Flowers was the first black boxer after Jack Johnson to fight for a world title, […]