twentieth century

September 28, 1892

John Donald Wade

The rock of tradition versus the hard place of progress is an old Southern dilemma. John Donald Wade, born in Marshallville, knew it well. Wade’s deep Georgia roots ran back to his great grandfather, John Adam Treutlen, Georgia's first governor. Teaching at Vanderbilt in the 1920s, Wade helped create one of the seminal books in […]

October 1, 1924

Jimmy Carter

He's the only Georgian to ever be elected president of the United States, Jimmy Carter was born in Plains and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. To his wife Rosalynn's dismay, Carter left a promising naval career after his father's death in 1953 and returned to Plains to take over the family peanut business. Successful […]

October 2, 1918

Spanish Flu

It killed more Americans than all of our 20th century wars combined. When 138 soldiers at Camp Gordon in Atlanta were hit with it this day in 1918, the Spanish Flu epidemic had spread across Georgia. The flu hit just as World War I ended. That war took 10 million lives over four years. The […]

October 3, 1924

FDR and Warm Springs

Warm Springs soothed his body and restored his spirit. Franklin D. Roosevelt made his first visit to the healing waters on this day in 1924. Roosevelt contracted polio three years earlier and traveled to Warm Springs on the advice of George Foster Peabody, his friend and part–owner of the springs. He visited 41 times. Other […]

September 17, 1994

“Ma” Rainey

Macon usually gets top billing when it comes to Georgia’s musical heritage, but Columbus has a trump card – “Ma” Rainey, the “Mother of the Blues,” who was honored on this day in 1994 by the U.S. Postal Service.  Gertrude “Ma” Rainey was born in 1886 in Columbus, where she first started performing in vaudeville […]

September 22, 1909

Lamar Dodd

Lamar Dodd's paintings evoked "Georgia, Georgia, Georgia," according to one New York art critic. Born in Fairburn and raised in LaGrange, Dodd studied briefly at LaGrange College and Georgia Tech before attending the Arts Student League in New York City. He studied under Boardman Robinson, American Scene artist Thomas Hart Benton, and George Luks of […]

September 23, 1930

Ray Charles

What Georgian doesn't feel a tinge of pride every time we hear Ray Charles sing “Georgia on my Mind”?  It's Georgia's official state song, and maybe the reason it sounds especially soulful is that Charles was singing about home.  Born in Albany, Ray Charles Robinson later changed his name to avoid confusion with boxer “Sugar” […]

September 14, 1917

Byron Herbert Reece

His writing still evokes the spirit of the north Georgia mountains.  Novelist and poet Byron Herbert Reece was born in Union County near Blood Mountain. Nicknamed "Hub," he grew up on the family farm. That life and his mountain heritage would be recurring themes in his writing. He attended Young Harris College, and published his […]

September 13, 1922

Viola Ross Napier and Bessie Kempton Crowell

It was a giant step forward for Georgia women on this day in 1922.   Viola Napier of Bibb County and Bessie Kempton Crowell of Fulton County became the first women elected to the General Assembly. They hit the milestone only two years after the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote.  Napier was […]

September 4, 1932

Vince Dooley

When you think Georgia Bulldogs, you probably think Vince Dooley. The legendary football coach’s long shadow didn’t just touch the University of Georgia, but collegiate athletics across the country. Dooley played football for coach Shug Jordan at Auburn University. He also earned a degree in business and a master’s in history there. After his Marine […]