Behold the awesomeness of Atlanta in the 1980s

Well, one thing you conclude watching the PR extravaganza that is "Atlanta: A Visual Postcard," is that everyone had really long attention spans back in the day. Who'd sit through fifteen minutes of chamber of commerce fluff today? Yeah, I thought so.

Pearl Cleage wrote a poem to memorialize the Orly crash

On June 3, we remembered the fiftieth anniversary of the famed Orly crash, which killed nearly all of Atlanta's most influential arts patrons at a time when the city needed their guidance most. The Woodruff Arts Center eventually rose like a phoenix from the proverbial wreckage, so it's fitting that the Alliance Theatre thought it appropriate to immortalize the tragedy in poetry.

April Fool’s! These tales of Atlanta history are more myth than fact

Last summer local news outlets carried a story about the proposed sale of the decrepit Clermont Hotel on Ponce de Leon Avenue. An Associated Press dispatch, which was posted on WSB radio’s website, stated, “Atlanta lore has it that the building eventually converted to a hotel once was home to gangster 
Al Capone.”

You can’t replace this: The musical legacy of Dante’s Down the Hatch

At one o’clock today, Atlanta city councilman Michael Julian Bond will honor Dante’s Down the Hatch owner Dante Stephensen at city hall with a City of Atlanta proclamation in honor of the restaurateur and jazz promoter’s “contributions to Atlanta’s cultural and business life.” Bond, a regular at the now-shuttered Buckhead nightspot, followed in the footsteps of his civil rights icon father Julian Bond, who was a regular at the original Dante’s Underground Atlanta location in the 1970s. “Dante’s was an Atlanta tradition,” explains Bond. “Locals and tourists alike flocked this unique establishment to experience a taste of the city in a communal fashion. This proclamation is our small gesture to Mr. Stephensen for four decades of service to Atlanta.”

39. Save your story for posterity

You know those NPR *StoryCorps* segments that get you choked up on your morning commute? You can record a slice of personal history (interviews are archived at the Library of Congress) at the Atlanta StoryBooth, one of three permanent StoryCorps studios in the country.

16. Go backstage at the Fox

The ladies-lounge chairs are exact replicas of those in the throne room of King Tut’s tomb. You’ve probably taken such details of the Fox Theatre for granted, but won’t after signing up a guided tour.

Marching with Selma’s foot soldiers

I have been to Selma, Alabama, at least three dozen times. My father grew up there with his grandparents and a gaggle of cousins. For much of his childhood, his front yard was a...

Commentary: Atlanta’s neglect of the Sweet Auburn district is a civic shame

A century or so ago, if a black resident of Atlanta wanted to stop for a drink after work, he’d have to go to the basement of a saloon, or sit behind a curtain or screen in the rear of a bar. Jim Crow laws, which controlled everything from what African Americans could wear (no capes) and how they got to upper floors of the Candler Building (the freight elevator), kept the races from sharing a cold beer or shot of rye side by side.

Birth of Martha Lumpkin, Atlanta’s namesake

Atlanta wasn’t really planned. It just kind of ... happened. Our streets follow the lines of former cow paths (which explains why I always get turned around on Moore's Mill). And our name evolved in a similarly scattershot manner.

The City’s First Telephone Exchange Launches

On May 15, 1879, the National Bell Telephone Company launched Atlanta’s first phone exchange. Located in an upper room of the Kimball House hotel (which, coincidentally, also did time as Atlanta city hall) the...

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