In June 1863, during the Civil War (1861-65), Confederate flag office Josiah Tattnall lost the ironclad Atlanta while attempting to break the Union blockade, and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment, one of the Union's first African American regiments, attacked Darien and caused the greatest wartime destruction to civilian property along the Georgia coast. The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place on June 27, 1864, and the USS Water Witch was captured by Confederate raiders in the waters south of Savannah that same month.
In media and publishing, the Atlanta Constitution published its first issue in 1868. Margaret Mitchell's iconic novel Gone With the Wind was published in 1936, and Columbus native Carson McCullers's acclaimed novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in 1940. Ted Turner launched CNN in Atlanta in 1980.
In 1887 druggist John Stith Pemberton registered a patent for the formula now known as "Coke." Nearly 100 years later, in 1985, the Coca-Cola Company announced that it would bring back its original formula, to be known as "Classic Coke," after a dismal experience with a "New Coke" formula.
In 1922 Robert Elliott Burns, author of I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang!, escaped from a chain gang in Campbell County (later Fulton County). His book was instrumental in bringing to national attention the abuses within southern chain gangs, which had replaced the outlawed convict lease system.
In 1923 the country-music recording industry was launched when Fannin County native Fiddlin' John Carson made his first phonograph record, "The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane," for Okeh Records. In 1925 his daughter, Moonshine Kate, made her recording debut playing guitar on four of Carson's songs.
The Garden Club of Georgia was established in Atlanta on June 7-8, 1928.
In transportation developments, Delta Air Lines, later headquartered in Atlanta, began its first passenger service, from Dallas, Texas, to Jackson, Mississippi, on June 17, 1929. And in 1979 MARTA opened its first rail line (the east line) in Atlanta, charging a fare of twenty-five cents.
On June 30, 1932, more than 1,000 out-of-work laborers marched on the Fulton County Courthouse, demanding the resumption of relief payments that had been suspended several days earlier. The demonstration led to a citywide investigation of communist activity in Atlanta, which resulted in the arrest of activist Angelo Herndon.
In 1962 a tragic plane crash at Orly Airport in Paris, France, killed 106 Atlantans, many of whom were important civic and cultural leaders in the city.
In sports, weightlifter Paul Anderson, a native of Stephens County, is believed to have backlifted 6,270 pounds in 1957, thereby becoming the "world's strongest man" in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1965 the National Football League awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which became the Atlanta Falcons; the National Hockey League followed suit in 1997, with a team that became the Atlanta Thrashers.
In 1974 the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies was dedicated at the University of Georgia in Athens.
In 2006 the city of Atlanta acquired a collection of papers belonging to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The collection, deeded to King's alma mater, Morehouse College, is housed in the archives of the Atlanta University Center.
Events held around the state in June include the Annual North Georgia Folk Potters Festival in Banks County, Athfest music fesitval in Athens, Camilla Pro Invitational Tennis Tournament in Mitchell County, Dairy Festival in Putnam County, Georgia Blueberry Festival in Bacon County, Peach Festival in Peach County, and Watermelon Days in Cordele.
Born this month in Georgia history: founder of Methodism John Wesley (1703); military leaders John Twiggs (1750), Henry Rootes Jackson (1820), and William A. Connelly (1931); artists John Abbot (1751) and Jackson Lee Nesbitt (1913); governors Peter Early (1773) and Joseph M. Terrell (1861); journalists Bill Arp (1826) and Julian Harris (1874); founder of Confederate Memorial Day Lizzie Rutherford (1833); politicians W. T. Wofford (1824), Rebecca Latimer Felton (1835), Jeannette Rankin (1880), Denmark Groover (1922), Bert Lance (1931), and Newt Gingrich (1943); architects J. W. Golucke (1857) and George T. Heery (1927); businessmen Alonzo Herndon (1858), W. C. Bradley (1863), J. B. Fuqua (1918), and John Amos (1924); educators Isa-Beall Williams Neel (1861) and John Hope (1868); performers Charles Coburn (1877), Susan Hayward (1917), and Lena Horne (1917); civil rights activist Dorothy Rogers Tilly (1883); musicians Roland Hayes (1887), Chet Atkins (1924), James Brown (1928), and Curtis Mayfield (1942); writers Brainard Cheney (1900), Eugenia Price (1916), Harry Crews (1935), and Charlie Smith (1947); athletes Nat Peeples (1926), Willard Nixon (1928), Edith McGuire (1944), and Gwen Torrence (1965); first African American graduate of the University of Georgia Mary Frances Early (1936); Geechee preservationist Cornelia Bailey (1945); justices Clarence Thomas (1948) and Leah Ward Sears (1955).
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.