Friday, September 21, 2018

The 1990s were perhaps our city's most transformative decade. A guide through the years:

Politics

Red state rising: The last days of Georgia’s two-party system

Georgia politics in the 1990s was like a murky twilight zone with two galaxies spinning away from each other. On one side were the remains of the old Solid Democratic South, still dominant at the beginning of the decade but best glimpsed in ghosts and caricature-like light from vanished stars. On the other side: the Solid Republican South, gathering mass and best represented by Newt Gingrich.

People

Where are they now? Mike Tokars

Mike Tokars was four years old on November 29, 1992. Yet he remembers the events of that night clearly, and he recounts them with an almost unsettling calm.

Media

Desert Storm: The first war televised live around the world (and around the clock)

My first day at CNN was August 1, 1990. After a career spent in newspapers, I needed time to become familiar with CNN’s staff, operations, finances, and plans for the future. But on my second day—August 2, 1990—Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

RIP Alt Weeklies

Sports

The Dirty Birds made it to the Super Bowl

After a 7–9 season in 1997, no one gave coach Dan Reeves’s 1998 squad a chance. But on the legs of running back Jamal Anderson—who rushed for 1,846 yards, nearly twice as much as he ever had or would again—and a smothering defense, the Falcons rattled off a nine-game winning streak to end the season a franchise-best 14–2 atop the NFC West.

Party City

Freaknik: The rise and fall of Atlanta’s most infamous street party

From hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands, Freaknik grew, but during its first decade, almost all white Atlantans—and many black Atlantans over the age of 40—were oblivious. Then came Freaknik 1993.

Boom Town

A man in composite: Who inspired Charlie Croker’s resume?

Well before its 1998 publication, Tom Wolfe’s Atlanta-centric "A Man in Full" was the talk of Buckhead’s cocktail party circuit; once the 742-page opus hit shelves, the chatter became deafening.

Music

TLC dominated the charts and tabloids

No Atlanta act bookended the decade better than TLC. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas burst onto the scene with their DayGlo fashions and a 1992 debut, "Ooooooohhh. . . On the TLC Tip."

Olympics

The remains of the games: Ranking our Olympics infrastructure

Atlanta poured $1 billion into an Olympic building frenzy—supplemented by cash from TV rights, corporate sponsorships, and ticket sales. This generated a $5 billion economic impact that summer, and decades of population growth and international investment. But how have those construction projects paid off?

Great Reads from the 90s

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