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?
By 1970, most Georgians lived in cities and made their living doing something other than farming. The county unit system was invalidated in 1962 making every Georgians’ vote equal in primary elections. The same Supreme Court rulings that declared the county unit system invalid called for the redrawing of districts in Georgia to more accurately reflect the population. Redistricting was controversial in the 1960s and 1970s and continues to spark controversy as districts are redrawn after each U.S. census. In 1971, Jimmy Carter, a state senator and failed gubernatorial candidate, became Governor of Georgia. In 1977, Jimmy Carter became the first Georgian to hold the office of President of the United States of America. Since his one term in the White House, Carter has played an important role in Georgia and the nation as a philanthropist and activist for peace. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, located in Atlanta, is an excellent resource for researchers and historians of all ages. In 1996, Georgia hosted the Olympic Games. Atlanta went through a years-long makeover to prepare for hosting the international event. Primary sources from 1970 until the present day exist in abundance. This primary source set offers five primary sources related to this period.