1782 – 1859 | 1860 – 1864 | 1865 – 1877 | 1878 – 1899 | 1900 – 1930 | 1931 – 1960 | 1961 – 1986
1931 – 1960
- Southern Bell installs dial service.
- Atlanta votes to keep itself on Central Standard Time.
- Fulton County is enlarged by the merger into it of Milton and Campbell counties.
- Anticipating that the whites-only primary will be someday declared unconstitutional, black leaders set up citizenship schools to teach blacks how to register to vote.
- Atlanta’s first air terminal, at Candler Field, is dedicated.
- It’s the depression, and the city finance committee cuts municipal salaries by 20 percent. City banks deny credit to City Hall unless it cuts the $14-million budget by $1-million.
- Eastern Air Transport moves its headquarters to Atlanta (and will soon change its name to Eastern Airlines).
- Construction of Atlanta’s new sewer system, financed by the federal Public Works Administration, is begun. Previously, half of all sewage was dumped in streams leading to the Chattahoochee River.
- Coca-Cola helps bail out Atlanta from its $1-million-plus deficit by advancing it $800,000.
- Rev. Martin Luther King Sr , pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, leads a voter registration march to City Hall. Retired railroad mail clerk John Wesley Dobbs organizes the Atlanta Civil and Political League to encourage black involvement in politics.
- Techwood Homes, the nation’s first federally-assisted public housing project, is dedicated by President Roosevelt. He then visits the site of the University Housing Project, Techwood’s black counterpart.
- Gone With The Wind is published.
- Coca-Cola says it will back Atlanta’s payroll, allowing city scrip to be honored at face value by banks.
- GWTW author Margaret Mitchell wins the Pulitzer for her book.
- Radio station WAGA is opened by the Atlanta Journal.
- The nation’s first air traffic control tower opens for business at the Atlanta Airport.
- U.S. 41, Georgia’s first four-lane highway, opens between Atlanta and Marietta.
- Ralph McGill is named executive editor and columnist of the Constitution.
- The movie “Gone With The Wind” has its world premiere at Leow’s Grand Theatre on Peachtree, with stars of the movie in attendance, including Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
- Former 1920 Democratic presidential candidate James M. Cox buys The Atlanta Journal and its radio station, WSB. He also buys out the Journal’s competitors and closes them down.
- The Catholic Co-Cathedral of Christ the King is dedicated on land once owned by the Ku Klux Klan, who’s Imperial Wizard is invited to the ceremony.
- Atlanta’s in-city population: 302,288, about one-third of whom are black.
- Work to build the Atlanta Naval Air Station, today’s Peachtree DeKalb Airport, begins.
- A series of floggings in Fulton County are traced to the KKK, ten members of which are indicted.
- Delta Airlines moves its headquarters from Monroe, Louisiana, to Atlanta.
- Four New Deal housing projects — Capitol Homes, Egan, Grady, and Herndon — are completed, bringing the number of Atlanta federally-funded projects to eight.
- Governor Eugene Talmadge says that, until The Journal and The Constitution “correct their attitude,” he will withhold newsworthy information from the two.
- Marietta named as home of the Bell assembly plant of B-29 bombers, predicted to bring 40,000 jobs.
- Atlanta Mayor Roy LeCraw resigns to enlist in the army. William Hartsfield is elected to replace him (and will be at that post through 1961.)
- Atlanta population in December: 473,800, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
- Mayor Hartsfield proposes the city subsidize development of unused residential neighborhoods in hopes of pursuading residents not to move away after the war.
- Atlanta pays the lowest wages in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Among prominent Atlanta blacks who failed in an attempt to vote in Georgia’s all-white primary are Martin Luther King Sr. and Professor Clarence Bacote, head of Atlanta University’s history department, although all of them were registered to vote in the general election.
- A train carrying the body of FDR north passes through Atlanta a day after his death in Warm Springs, GA.
- 119 people die when the Winecoff Hotel burns, at this writing still listed as one of the worst fire tragedies in the nation’s history. The hotel will reopen in 1951 as the Peachtree Hotel.
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules the Georgia all-white primary unconstitutional in the case of Chapman vs King. A massive two-month voter drive raises the number of Atlanta blacks registered from under 7,000 to over 24,000.
- Imperial Wizard Samuel Green estimates Atlanta KKK members at 20,000.
- Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge dies before taking office, leaving the state in confusion as to who legally succeeds him.
- The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is formed.
- New Police Chief Herbert Jenkins says he’ll reduce KKK influence in the department.
- Mayor Hartsfield’s plan to annex Buckhead and Cascade Heights is defeated by voters in those communities.
- The city’s high schools end their gender segregation. Tech High and Boys High combine to become coed Grady High, while Girls High becomes coed Roosevelt High.
- The City Council okays hiring black policemen, but the police union wins a stay order preventing it.
- The stay order is overturned and eight black policemen are hired. They are assigned only to black neighborhoods, prohibited from arresting whites, and told to report to the Butler Street YMCA rather than police headquarters on Decatur Street.
- WSB-TV, the South’s first TV station, goes on the air. The Rich Foundation gives WABE radio to the Atlanta Public Schools.
- General Motors opens a plant in Doraville, Ford having opened its Hapeville plant the year before.
- While crossing Peachtree Street with her husband, Margaret Mitchell is struck by a speeding car. She dies five days later.
- Atlanta City Council moves against the KKK by banning wearing of masks in public except on festive occasions.
- Blacks vote in a mayoral primary for the first time since the whites-only primary was ruled unconsititutional.
- Atlanta Journal owner James Cox takes over The Atlanta Constitution and merges the two papers’ production, ad sales and Sunday editions.
- Two hundred black children and their parents petition to end segregation in the city schools. The petition will be denied.
- The Marietta Bell Bomber plant, closed after WWII, reopens to meet Korean War needs.
- The power struggle between Gov. Herman Talmadge and the Atlanta Journal and The Constitution ends when state Legislature adjourns without restricting papers’ right to publish.
- WSB-TV becomes most powerful station in the U.S. after increasing power and moving from channel 8 to channel 2.
- John “Fat” Hardy arrested for distributing poisoned whiskey to black community, resulting in 45 deaths. He will later be convicted of murder and sentenced to life.
- The city triples in square miles, from 33 to 118, due to Plan of Improvement.
- The first parking meter in Atlanta is installed.
- White residents near Bankhead Avenue protest two black families moving into the neighborhood, and police patrols are called in.
- Theatre of the Stars begins offering Broadway road shows.
- Carver Community opens, becoming Atlanta’s first post-war housing project.
- City does away with bicameral system of city council and board of aldermen, becomes just one body with two aldermen from each district.
- Judge lifts Atlanta censor Christine Smith Gilliam’s ban on the movie “The Blackboard Jungle,” which she dubbed “lewd, obscene and salacious.”
- U.S. Supreme Court says segregation of city’s golf courses is unconstitutional and they are integrated without incident; Atlanta library defies court orders and denies petitions to desegregate.
- Lake Lanier is formed with the completion of Buford Dam, a six-year project of the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
- The Atlanta Public Teachers Association leaves the American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO) to avoid having to admit black members.
- In January, sixty blacks from 10 states attend an integration strategy meeting in Atlanta that will eventually evolve into the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
- Mayor Hartsfield trounces Lester Maddox’s petition campaign and is reelected to a sixth term.
- Female police officers walk the beat for the first time in Atlanta.
- The Temple of the Hebrew Benevolent Association on Peachtree is bombed, the suspected motive being the rabbi’s support for school desegregation. The trial of suspects, members of the National States Rights Party, ends with no verdict.
- Mayor Hartsfield asks the state for “local option” to allow Atlantans to decide to keep integrated schools open. State law forbids all public funding of integrated schools.
- Nearly 13% of total wholesale transactions in the South are made in Atlanta.
- The Atlanta Public Library is integrated with the issuing of a library card to Mrs. Maynard Jackson. (Three days later, it removes from the shelves a children’s book about a black and a white bunny rabbit getting married.)
- Lenox Square mall opens with 47 shops.
- Metro Atlanta population, which includes surrounding areas, passes the million mark.
- Martin Luther King Jr gives his first sermon at Ebenezer Baptist as co-pastor.
- The University of Georgia in Athens is desegregated with the court-ordered admission of Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes.
- Atlanta University students stage a series of sit-ins at government building lunch counters and transportation terminals. The protests lead to several arrests, including that of Martin Luther King at Rich’s department store.
- A state-formed Committee on Schools visits Atlanta and finds overwhelming local support for keeping schools open, integrated or not. They go back to the legislature and recommend local-option.
- The Atlanta Inquirer, with Julian Bond one of its editors, is founded as an alternative to the Daily World, which the students regard as too conservative.