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Circa: Waffle House

From a side hustle to an empire: how Waffle House became a 24/7 beacon for waffle lovers

Before Waffle House became what it is now, it was just a side hustle. On Labor Day 1955, next-door neighbors Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner opened a restaurant in sleepy Avondale Estates.
Georgia Gold Rush

How Dahlonega earned its name from Georgia’s gold rush

On August 1, 1829, Gold had been discovered in Georgia. Several years later, the General Assembly changed the name of Licklog, the county seat of present-day Lumpkin County, the epicenter of the Georgia gold rush, to Dahlonega—similar to the Cherokee word for gold.

Sine Die 1964: Ending the legislative session? One representative said “not on my watch.”

On Sine Die in 1964, heated debates raged over plans to give metro Atlanta two of Georgia’s 10 congressional seats. Democratic representative Denmark Groover tried to halt the formal end of the 40-day legislative session by ripping a clock from a wall, causing it to fall to the ground below.

From a church basement to a prestigious HBCU: the founding of Spelman College

Sophia Packard and Harriet Giles, two missionaries, traveled south to educate newly freed people after the Civil War. With the financial help of John and Laura Rockefeller, Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary is now known as Spelman College, one of the country’s most prestigious historically black colleges.
Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers

Flashback: How Trappist monks built Conyers’s Monastery of the Holy Spirit

Between chants and prayer, the monks mixed and wheeled concrete to build their immense Abbey Church in Rockdale County. Today, the monastery is a must-see attraction and generates revenue by making stained glass, selling bonsai trees, and offering silent retreats for laypeople. Plus, they bake a mean biscotti.

Flashback: John Lewis wanted to go to Congress. He didn’t make it the first time.

John Lewis likes to remind supporters to never give up. In January 1977, after President Jimmy Carter appointed then U.S. Rep. Andrew Young to be ambassador to the United Nations, Lewis joined a dozen candidates vying to replace Young. Come election night, Lewis lost to fellow Democrat Wyche Fowler. “Two months ago, nobody knew who John Lewis was. This is only the beginning.” Elected to the House in 1986, Lewis began his 17th term in January.

Flashback: The first transcontinental phone call was made from the Jekyll Island Club in 1915

Theodore Vail, the president of AT&T, had hoped to be alongside Alexander Graham Bell in New York when the inventor made the first transcontinental call to his trusted assistant, Thomas Watson, sitting 3,400 miles away in San Francisco. Hobbled with a leg injury on Jekyll Island, where he and other titans of industry escaped hard northeast winters, Vail instead participated from a parlor in the Jekyll Island Club as J.P. Morgan Jr. and William Rockefeller stood nearby.
Circa: Lockheed bomber plant

Flashback: How World War II helped turn Cobb County into an economic powerhouse

With war on the horizon in the early 1940s, the country needed B-29 Superfortress bombers to fight Nazi Germany, and it needed them fast. A group of boosters from Cobb County pitched the perfect site: a cotton farm and field of trees in Marietta. The investment turned Cobb, until then a sleepy suburb, into an economic powerhouse.

Flashback: Karl Wallenda’s high-wire walk across Tallulah Gorge, 1970

Tallulah Falls city leaders wanted to increase the town’s profile, so they did the obvious: They invited Karl Wallenda—a German-born daredevil who had captivated audiences around the world with nail-biting, high-wire walks—to cross Tallulah Gorge in what some considered his riskiest stunt yet.
Crawford Love

Flashback: The day a Korean War POW was reunited with his family in Atlanta

For 27 months, all Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Love of Polk County could do was worry about their son Crawford, a 25-year-old army private. More than 7,000 miles away, the avid hunter and fisherman had been confined in a Korean prison camp, where he watched guards beat his friends.

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