Although a majority of events in the 1996 Olympic Games were hosted in or around Atlanta, Georgia, there were several other venues throughout the state. For example, Savannah, Georgia hosted the yachting events. This newspaper article from April 29, 1993 relates how local 8th-graders are worried about how visitors will view their home. How do these goals compliment the rest of the Atlanta changes and preparations?
“Concerned Students: Eight-grader Want Island to Look Good for Olympic Visitors.” Islands Closeup. Thursday, April 29, 1993. From the Georgia Historical Society Savannah Olympic Support Council Records. MS 1856-02-001.
The rendering of Centennial Olympic Park in this set was also featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The sketch shows the type of improvements the Olympic committee planners envisioned and executed in the lead up to the Olympics. Centennial Olympic Park remains an important green space for citizens and visitors of Atlanta. The sports venues built for the Olympic Games are now used by Atlanta’s professional sports teams and Atlanta’s business and tourism industry experienced a boom in the years following the 1996 Olympics.
It took more than six years for Georgia to prepare for the Olympic Games of 1996. These preparations significantly changed the landscape of the city of Atlanta. New buildings were built and old buildings were knocked down. New sports venues and public spaces were created and more hotels were built to accommodate the more than 2 million visitors who attended the games. Atlanta Attorney Billy Payne and Mayor Andrew Young led the winning bid for hosting the games and the preparations for hosting the games. Funding came from state and federal tax dollars, ticket sales, and corporate sponsorships. The image of demolition on a Techwood Homes building in 1993 comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The image shows work on one of the major demolition and construction projects related to the 1996 Olympics. The low-income neighborhood surrounding the demolition pictured in this image was replaced by mixed-income apartments and dorms which housed Olympic athletes during the games. Techwood Homes was a public housing project. The area surrounding the housing project was plagued with crime
How do you think the town reacted? What would have caused negative reactions in Atlanta and what about the Games would have caused positive reactions? How did this kind of preparation for the 1996 Games change the city of Atlanta? Would this have been surprising to Atlanta residents?
In 1982, former president Jimmy Carter founded the Carter Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing peace and health worldwide. The center monitors elections, engages in efforts to advance human rights and democracy, and works to eradicate diseases in poorer countries. In this particular image, Jimmy Carter is addressing children in Savelugu Ghana, an area plagued by the Guinea Worm Disease. He has just asked, “Who here has had Guinea worm disease?” Through the efforts of the Carter Center, the Guinea Worm Disease is almost eradicated. Only 1,100 cases were reported worldwide in 2011. The disease is caused by drinking contaminated water. What standard did Carter set in building the Carter Center immediately after his 1982 defeat? How is did Carter’s photographs with these Ghanaian children help the efforts of Guinea worm disease?
President Jimmy Carter is one of the most famous and influential Georgians in modern history. His presidency was plagued by domestic and international crises, one of the most dramatic of which was the Iran Hostage Crisis. On November 4, 1979, more than 60 Americans were taken from the American embassy in Tehran and were held hostage for 444 days. The entire nation watched the crisis unfold on television. The hostage situation stemmed from resentment over CIA involvement in consolidating power under Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1953. Ten years later, the Shah quelled an uprising, sending cleric Khomeini into exile. Although this action ended the immediate threat of revolution, it eventually sparked the Iranian Islamic Revolution. In January of 1979 the Shah was the one in exile and Khomeini was leader of Iran. The young revolutionaries who stormed the American embassy in November were upset that the United States had allowed the exiled Shah into the United States for cancer treatment. They refused to release the hostages until the Shah was returned to Iran for trial and the United States gave billions of dollars that the revolutionaries claimed they stole from the Iranian people. President Carter vowed to bring the hostages back safely. His administration tried economic sanctions and negotiations to resolve the crisis, but as the months passed with no sign of breaking, Carter approved a high-risk rescue mission. The mission had to be aborted due to malfunctioning helicopters, one of which crashed into a transport plane killing the pilot and injuring three others. The Iranians broadcast footage of the crash and mocked the United States in their failed attempt to protect their own citizens. This primary source set includes a draft copy of Jimmy Carter’s speech given in response to this humiliating event. The document is housed at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and available online through the National Archives.
How does this source demonstrate the mood of the nation during this event? How does this event and his speech set the mood for the rest of Carter’s presidency?
Atlanta and Albany are often the focus of the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, but the movement took root in towns and communities throughout the state. In Savannah, Georgia, the civil rights movement was relatively peaceful compared to that of other Southern cities, primarily due to the cooperation of local businessmen and politicians with African-American leadership. One such business leader was Pratt Adams, Jr. Adams. (1915-1981) was a third-generation Savannah lawyer in his family’s law firm of Adams, Adams, Brennan, and Gardner. After serving in World War II, he settled back into his law career in Savannah. Adams was very active in many civic organizations, including Civic Progress, Inc. Business leaders such as Adams who founded this group realized that the future of the city’s and their own prosperity depended upon minimizing protests and violence. The Bi-Racial Committee, composed of members of the Civic Progress group and several prominent Civil Rights leaders, met several times in 1963 to discuss how to bring about an end of segregation in local hotels, theaters, and restaurants. This primary source set offers a digitized selection of papers from the A. Pratt Adams, Jr. papers housed at the Georgia Historical Society.
The documents in the PDF are in reverse chronological order. The first document in the set is a letter written by A. Pratt Adams, Jr. to Mr. Bennett A. Brown, executive vice president of The Citizens and Southern National Bank. Adams was responding to Brown’s letter concerning the May 11, 1970, race riot in Augusta that resulted in six deaths. The second document is a letter from the Vice President of the Central of Georgia Railway law department. The third document contains the minutes from a meeting held between white businessmen and black leaders in Savannah on February 16, 1965. The final document comes from the August 1, 1963, meeting of the Bi-Racial Committee.
Selection from the A. Pratt Adams, Jr. (1915-1981) collection, 1959-1971. From the Georgia Historical Society Manuscript Collection. MS 2165.
Ethel Hyer was the first woman to serve as president of the Rome, Ga. Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a position she held for 15 years. She was a member of many religious, civic, and social organizations, including the Georgia Council of Human Relations and the Rose Garden Club. She was very active in the Civil Rights Movement during the late 1950s and early 1960s. This primary source set offers a digitized sampling of materials from the Ethel Hyers papers.
Sampling from the Ethel Hyer family papers. From the Georgia Historical Society A. Pratt Adams, Jr. (1915-1981) collection, 1959-1971. MS 2117.
Before watching this film clip, students should have some background understanding of the Albany Movement and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s role in Albany. The Albany Movement was one of the most widely followed civil rights events in Georgia and it was the first concerted mass movement effort to end segregation in an entire city. The movement began in 1961 as several black improvement organizations joined efforts and formed the Albany Movement. The protestors held mass meetings, participated in marches, and formed the famed Freedom Singers. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Albany in December to add momentum to the movement and bring national attention. MLK, Jr. spoke at a mass meeting and participated in a march before being arrested and jailed. After this initial arrest, MLK, Jr. enlisted SCLC staff to coordinate the campaign. In the end, MLK, Jr. felt that his involvement in the Albany Movement was a failure. The Albany Movement continued after King’s departure and the movement spread to neighboring communities in Southwest Georgia.
This film clip, taken July 25, 1962, features Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and an unidentified speaker promoting the need for nonviolence in the Albany Movement. The night before this film was taken some members of the African-American community had thrown rocks and bottles at city police officers out of anger for the arrest of protestors. This clip provides an excellent source for studying the philosophy Martin Luther King, Jr. and members of the SCLC. The clip is also an interesting glimpse into the Albany Movement just before the exit of MLK, Jr. The Civil Rights Digital Library has many more clips related to the Albany movement cataloged and available for viewing.
This video was taken by the WSB-TV news team on January 9, 1961. The clip shows Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes arriving at the University of Georgia. This was the same day that U.S. District Judge Bootle ruled that the University of Georgia had used race as the determinant factor in excluding Hamilton and Hunter from admission to the University. Hunter and Holmes attended classes for the first time two days later on January 11, 1961. What do you think the atmosphere was like at the University when Hunter and Holmes first went to classes? How did Holmes and Hunter pave the way for future African American students to attend public universities in Georgia?
WSB-TV newsfilm clip of African-American students arriving on campus as well as the reaction of white students at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, January 9, 1961 , WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0779, 45:20/47:10, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.
After being recruited by NAACP leader Jesse Hill to help fight the segregation of Georgia’s public universities, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter applied for admission to the University of Georgia in the fall of 1959. After Holmes and Hunter rejected for no reason many times, U.S. District Judge William Bootle ordered UGA to admit them in January of 1961. Yet, this does not mean these students were welcomed in Athens by any means. Governor Ernest Vandiver threatened to close the university rather than submit to integration. These newspaper articles are from UGA’s student newspaper, The Red and Black, which covered these events. What are the biases of the articles written and published in these sources? How can we get the facts from the sources if they are indeed biased? What is the purpose of bias primary sources in research?
The Red and Black (Athens, Ga.) 1893-current, January 05-11, 1961. From the Digital Library of Georgia Historic Georgia Newspaper Collection