“African American integration leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with Rabbi Jacob Rothschild in Atlanta. January 27, 1965.” AJCP552-028b. Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
In January 27th of 1965, a huge dinner banquet was held in Dinkler Plaza Hotel (known as Hotel Ansley until 1953), located alongside Williams street in downtown Atlanta. The banquet was to congratulate and honor an Atlanta native who just won the Nobel Peace Prize in November 1964, the leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The banquet was a huge success, and was attended by as many as 1,500 people of both black and white races. The New York Times next day reported that “the Dinkler Plaza Hotel was jammed far beyond comfortable capacity with Atlantans” who “stood and sang [We Shall Overcome], the most famous song of the civil rights movement”, and commented that the successful banquet was “symbolic of Atlanta’s attitude on race relations”.
However, though it is not very well known, success of this banquet and the civil rights movement in general, were also closely tied to Coca-Cola, an Atlanta native company that became an international giant. The banquet to honor Dr. King was a symbolic incident which highlighted Coca-Cola Company’s effort to respond to a changing American society, and to the civil rights movement during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Continue reading
Oakland Cemetery Entrance. Photo by John Chapman (4 April, 2016)
Oakland Cemetery serves as one of the key landmarks of antebellum Atlanta, Georgia. Oakland Cemetery sits in stark contrast to the rest of the city with its towering trees, rather than towering building, and its old brick roads rather than hot black asphalt. Oakland Cemetery serves as a monument to Georgia’s past while simultaneously growing and morphing with the present. It is general knowledge that some of the city’s most influential characters, such as Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones, lay at rest within its walls and it is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta. However, who in the city knows about the erection of the eastern wall or the problems that had to be handled in Oakland’s early years? A great deal of Oakland’s history remains a mystery to the people of Atlanta and throughout this analysis I will shed light on its origin story. Continue reading
Despite his relatively brief career, Bobby Jones is universally recognized of one of the greatest golfers of all time. His name, in the minds of the sporting world, does not sound out of place spoken among the names of far more contemporary players such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods or even those whose fame and feats are even more recent than they. The same can be said for few other athletes of his time- Jones retired from golf at the age of 28 in 1930. By that time, he had won 13 major championships. In the year of his retirement, he won all four, making him the only golfer in history to win the impregnable Grand Slam. The very next year, however, he would not compete in one tournament. Wrote the great sportswriter and best friend of Jones, “the greatest competitive athlete of history closed the book, the bright lexicon of championships, with every honor in the world to grace its final chapter.” And yet, Jones never made one penny from playing golf. He was always keen to remind fans that “some things were more important than winning.” This decision spawned from an intense modesty for which he is famed. On several occasions, Jones called penalties on himself in major championships- penalties that would not otherwise been assessed; one of these that cost him a victory. And yet his scrupulous honesty, stringent self-governance and vivacious energy to achieve were not just limited to golf.