June in Georgia History: The AJC, Coca-Cola and Delta get their start

June 3, 2023
1 min read

From monumental battles to groundbreaking cultural shifts, the state of Georgia has a rich tapestry of historical events that took place during the month of June. Let’s journey back in time to explore some key moments.

18th Century: War and Revolution

  • In 1781, the state witnessed a significant event during the American Revolutionary War. Major military engagements included the seizure of Augusta from the British on June 5th by Elijah Clarke and others.

19th Century: War and Innovation

  • In the midst of the Civil War in June 1863, Confederate flag officer Josiah Tattnall lost the ironclad Atlanta while attempting to break the Union blockade. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment, one of the Union’s first African American regiments, attacked Darien, causing significant wartime destruction to civilian property along the Georgia coast.
  • The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place on June 27, 1864, and that same month, the USS Water Witch was captured by Confederate raiders in the waters south of Savannah.
  • The Atlanta Constitution published its first edition in June 1868.
  • In 1887, Atlanta druggist John Stith Pemberton registered a patent for the formula now known as Coca-Cola.
  • Grady Hospital opened in Atlanta on June 1, 1892.

20th Century: Growth and Change

  • In 1922, Robert Elliott Burns, author of “I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang!”, escaped from a chain gang in Campbell County (later Fulton County). His book was instrumental in bringing national attention to the abuses within southern chain gangs.
  • Fannin County native “Fiddlin’” John Carson launched the country music recording industry when he recorded two songs for Okeh Records in 1923.
  • Delta Air Lines, later headquartered in Atlanta, began its first passenger service in June 1929.
  • Margaret Mitchell’s iconic novel “Gone With the Wind” was published in June 1936.
  • In 1957, weightlifter Paul Anderson, a native of Stephens County, is believed to have back lifted 6,270 pounds, thereby earning the title of “world’s strongest man” according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • A tragic plane crash at Orly Airport in Paris, France, in June 1962, killed 106 Atlantans, many of whom were important civic and cultural leaders in the city.
  • Grace Towns Hamilton became the first African American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly in June 1965. The same month, the National Football League awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which became the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Entrepreneurs Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus opened the first two Home Depot stores in Atlanta in June 1979.
  • In June 1980, Ted Turner launched CNN in Atlanta.

21st Century: Progress and Prestige

  • Sea Island, a barrier island in Glynn County, hosted the G8 Summit of World Leaders in June 2004.

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