1782 – 1859 | 1860 – 1864 | 1865 – 1877 | 1878 – 1899 | 1900 – 1930 | 1931 – 1960 | 1961 – 1986
1900 – 1930
- The Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company is licensed by Coca-Cola to bottle the beverage locally. It begins operation in a building that still stands at 125 Edgewood Ave.
- Bicycle dealer William Dawson Alexander builds three 650-pound “Locomobile Steamers,” Atlanta’s first horseless carriages. He then joins with partner C.L. Elyea and forms Atlanta’s Oldsmobile dealership.
- After years of traffic dodging trains where Peachtree and Whitehall Streets meet, a bridge is finally built over the tracks. (This bridge begins the process that will result in Underground Atlanta.)
- Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary and Training School for Christan Nurses is founded, later to become Georgia Baptist Medical Center.
- The Atlanta Federal Penitentiary opens with the transfer of six convicts from Sing Sing in New York.
- Carnegie Library opens.
- After a settlement of the rivalry between street car operators Joel Hurt and Harry Atkinson, the Georgia Railway and Electric Company is formed (and will later become Georgia Power.)
- A race riot, later known as the “Pittsburgh Riot” after that section of the city, leaves three policemen, two black civilians and one white civilian dead.
- George Washington Collier, Atlanta’s longest surviving early settler, dies.
- Edwin Ansley begins developing a neighborhood that will bear his name.
- The Independent begins publication. It is Atlanta’s first black newspaper.
- A bad year for cars: After one of Atlanta’s first auto accidents (car collides with trolley and horse-drawn surrey on Peachtree; car wrecked, horse fine), the City Council says drivers must get license from city clerk and sets speed limit at 8 MPH. Less than two months later, a Marietta chemist dies after losing control of his car on Marietta Street, becoming Atlanta’s first auto accident fatality.
- Rhodes Hall is erected by furniture chain founder A.G. Rhodes at 1516 Peachtree St. The building still stands at this writing.
- The new Terminal Station opens at Mitchell Street and Madison Avenue with the playing of “Dixie” by the 16th US Infantry Band.
- Pres. and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt arrive in Atlanta after a visit to his mother’s home in Roswell.
- Under leadership of former slave and ex-barber Alonzo Herndon, the Atlanta Life Insurance Company is formed. Herndon became Atlanta’s first black millionaire. His home still stands near Morris Brown College and is open to visitors.
- The 17-story Candler Building (still standing today) is dedicated on Peachtree and Houston Streets.
- Four days of race rioting in September leave ten blacks and two whites dead. A report issued by the Chamber of Commerce blames whites for the disturbances. The riot began after a gubernatorial campaign in which one candidate, Hoke Smith (of Atlanta Journal and Grover Cleveland cabinet fame), promised to take away the black vote.
- Governor Hoke Smith is inauguarated.
- Prohibition wins a state referendum but Atlanta bars win right to sell “near beer.”
- Joel Chandler Harris dies at age 59. The Uncle Remus Memorial Association is formed and will eventually buy his home, “Wren’s Nest,” and keep it up in his honor.
- Atlanta Taxicab Company introduces the city to taxis, eight of them. The fare is 30 cents for the first half-mile, then 10 cents each additional quarter mile.
- The Atlanta Crackers baseball team wins the pennant of the Southern League.
- Atlanta’s first black-owned bank, Atlanta State Savings Bank, is formed.
- Atlanta’s population: 154,839, 33.5 percent being black.
- Winner of the city junior golf championship: Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, 9. It would be the beginning of a great golf career.
- Grand opening of the Georgian Terrace Hotel at Peachtree and Ponce.
- A report that “all cases of infection, smallbpox possibly excepted, among colored people are allowed to spread” is received by the Chamber of Commerce. Among reforms demanded by the organization is inspection of city milk.
- On April 26, 12-year-old Mary Phagan is murdered at the National Pencil Factory on Forsythe Street. Factory manager Leo Frank is arrested for the nationally famous crime; he will be convicted and later lynched by a mob in 1915. About sixty years later, Frank will be pardoned.
- The Winecoff Hotel opens on Peachtree Street.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta opens on the second floor of the Hurt Building, with $4-million in gold.
- The Educational Commission of the Methodist Church having announced its decision the previous summer to establish a university, Emory University is granted a charter. Coke’s Asa Candler had pledged $1-million to the school.
- Gutzon Borglum of New York visits Atlanta to see if Stone Mountain is suitable for a huge sculpture of Confederate heroes.
- D.W. Griffith’s movie, “Birth of a Nation,” opens at the Atlanta Theatre.
- Thirty-four men meet atop Stone Mountain to revive the long-dormant Ku Klux Klan.
- Trucks begin replacing some of the horses in the Atlanta Fire Department.
- With the urging of citizens, Asa Candler of Coca-Cola runs for mayor and wins.
- The “Hanson Six” automobile, selling for about $1,000, is manufactured in Atlanta.
- Camp Gordon opens in Dekalb County, later to become the site of Dekalb-Peachtree Airport. By the end of World War I, over a quarter-million men (including the legendary Sgt. York) will pass through the camp.
- Fires start all over Atlanta, burning almost two thousand houses and leaving one person dead and 10,000 (mostly blacks) homeless.
- The Federal Reserve Bank opens in its own building on Marietta Street.
- Isadore M. Weinstein, an Atlanta war vet, opens a shop on Walker Street to supply linens to restaurants. The company later becomes the National Linen Service.
- Asa Candler sells the Coca-Cola Company to a group led by Ernest Woodruff for $25-million.
- One year before the nation ratifies the 19th Amendment, 4,000 women vote in the primaries in Atlanta.
- A referendum for reading the Bible in public schools passes 7,631 to 1,865.
- Atlanta population: 200,616.
- The Cyclorama building is dedicated in Grant Park. The fireproof building houses the circular painting of the Battle of Atlanta.
- The first commercial broadcast station license in the South is granted to WSB, the radio station owned by the Atlanta Journal. The Constitution soon begins broadcasting on its WGM, but later donates it to Georgia Tech, renamed WGST.
- Rebecca Latimer Felton of Dekalb County is selected to fill the office of late Sen. Tom Watson, thereby becoming the first woman member of the U.S. Senate. She served one day.
- Atlanta Constitution reporter Bessie Kempton becomes the first woman to win a seat in the Georgia Legislature.
- Robert Woodruff named president of Coca-Cola.
- The million-dollar Spring Street viaduct opens.
- Borglum begins carving the face of Robert E. Lee on the side of Stone Mountain.
- The Biltmore Hotel opens at a cost of $6-million.
- A municipal farmers’ market opens on Edgewood Avenue, next to what later became the entrance to the downtown connector.
- The new governors’ mansion is opened at 205 Prado in Ansley Park. The first occupants are Gov. and Mrs. Clifford Walker.
- The Dekalb County town of Ingleside, near Decatur, is bought by George Willis, who plans to develop a model suburb there. It will become Avondale Estates.
- The Stone Mountain Memorial Association cancels Gutzon Borglum’s contract. He then destroys the models and flees the town. He is replaced by Augustus Lukeman, who begins his work by blasting away Borglum’s work. (Borglum later went on to carve Mt. Rushmore.)
- Joel Hurt dies.
- Mrs. H.M. High donates her home to Atlanta on the condition it become an art museum. It opens in October.
- Air Mail service begins between Atlanta and Miami.
- Asa Candler donates 53 acres to the city, which becomes Candler Park.
- The Sears Roebuck building begins construction on Ponce de Leon. It later becomes City Hall East.
- R.H. Macy, having purchased Davison-Paxon-Stokes two years prior, opens the six-story Davison’s department store at Peachtree and Ellis streets.
- Columbia Seminary moves from Columbia, SC, to its present 7-acre campus on Columbia Drive south of the city of Decatur.
- The Stone Mountain carving design is unveiled but the project is put on hold due to lack of funds, and Stone Mountain’s owners, the Venable family, reclaim the mountain, unfinished carving and all.
- Egleston Hospital for Children opens.
- General Motors opens a plant in Lakewood.
- Georgia Tech wins the Rose Bowl.
- Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler dies.
- The Fox Theatre opens.
- The city of Atlanta buys the airport, Candler Field. Daily flights begin between Atlanta and Birmingham.
- The new 14-story City Hall opens at a cost of $1-million.
- Manufactured gas is replaced by natural gas, which begins arriving in pipelines from Louisiana.
- Atlanta is added to the coast-to-coast airmail route. Air passenger service between New York and Atlanta begins in December, to be followed the next month by Atlanta-Miami service.
- A Fulton County Grand Jury probe of Atlanta municipal graft results in 15 convictions and the ousting of many office-holders at the polls.
- Bryan “Bitsy” Grant wins the U.S. Clay Court Championship.