Groundbreaking for the Atlanta Stadium

It’s the ultimate example of Atlanta’s ahem, ballsy boosterism. On April 15, 1964, ground was broken for a new stadium. Never mind that the city didn’t have a baseball franchise and details of how it would all be paid for were still being sorted out. “We expect to be playing major league baseball here this time next year,” mayor Ivan Allen confidently told the New York Times.

Taking a spin at the Polaris

The reimagined Polaris opens to the public June 10. The iconic revolving restaurant that first opened in 1967 now houses two living room spaces, a bar, and a small restaurant. There's a definite emphasis on cocktails and socializing over dining.

Gasp! Manuel’s Tavern is now smoke-free

Throughout its storied 58-year history, three things have remained constant at Atlanta’s politico watering hole Manuel’s Tavern. The city’s scribblers can always score a scoop if you wait around long enough. The tavern’s telepathic bartenders know you want another drink before you do. And at the end of the evening, your clothes are a walking billboard for Lucky Strikes.

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.

Art Rocks Athens honors its musical history this weekend

Fans will get a two-night crash course in the history of the Athens music scene this weekend, thanks to two icon-studded bills as part of Art Rocks Athens: The Music. Tonight at the 40 Watt in Athens, the music of The B-52’s, Pylon, The Side Effects, R.E.M., Is/Ought Gap, Club Gaga, The Fans, and Kevin Dunn will be celebrated. On Saturday night at the Georgia Theatre, music vets and newbies on the Athens set will pay tribute to Method Actors, Squalls, Kilkenny Cats, Dreams So Real, Oh-OK, Bar-B-Q Killers, and others.

Um, about that streetcar…?

A century ago, streetcars were Atlanta’s proverbial lifeblood, connecting Downtown to “suburbs” like Inman Park, Druid Hills, and the West End. Even as cars became common in the 1920s and 1930s, Atlantans continued commuting by trolley, streetcar, and intercity train.

Flashback: The 1895 Cotton States Exposition and the Negro Building

The Negro Building was the first designated space, since Emancipation, for the showcase of African-American achievement in a white-dominated setting. Without it, the Exposition committee could have not received federal backing, and those funds appropriated from Congress, are what helped make the fair an international success.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights connects Atlanta legacy and current conflicts

As its name suggests, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opens to the public on Monday, is about two struggles—the American one that was fought primarily in the South in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the worldwide one that involves oppressed peoples in distant (and not-so-distant) lands. While there’s an obvious thematic linkage between the American Civil Rights Movement and the broader human rights one, the line between them must have been a challenge for the Center’s designers to straddle. One has a built-in narrative, with a beginning and middle (if not yet an ending), and the other requires navigating the vast space beneath the human rights umbrella, whether it’s oppressed women in Africa, child laborers in Pakistan, or tortured activists in Burma.

27. Hang out in the Oval Office

Whatever your politics, it’s awe-inspiring to stand in the full-scale replica Oval Office at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. The interactive displays—the result of a major renovation completed in late 2009—take you through a day in the life of a president.

Video of the Day: “Partners in Progress,” a 1954 doc on the New South

Here's a blast from the past for ya: An old documentary on Dixie's transformation in the fifties to the New South.

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