May in Georgia History
A number of significant historical events have occurred in Georgia during the month of May.
The first Europeans known to set foot on Georgia soil arrived with Spaniard Pedro de Quejos, who landed two ships at the mouth of the Savannah River on an exploratory expedition.
During the Civil War, Union general William T. Sherman began his Atlanta Campaign on May 5 by marching 100,000 soldiers into Georgia from Tennessee. The campaign included the Battle of Resaca in Gordon and Whitfield counties on May 14-15, and the Battle of Pickett's Mill in Paulding County on May 27.
Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville (Irwin County).
The first Coca-Cola fountain drink was sold in Jacobs Pharmacy in Atlanta. Twenty-one days later, the first Coca-Cola advertisement appeared in the Atlanta Journal.
Martha Berry were among a group of women granted honorary degrees by Oglethorpe University.
The Crypt of Civilization, a multimillennial time capsule, was sealed at Oglethorpe University's campus.
The Atlanta Public Library integrated when the mother of Maynard Jackson, a future Atlanta mayor, became the first African American to receive a library card.
The first group of Freedom Riders, traveling from Washington, D.C., to the Deep South in protest of segregation, passed through Georgia on May 12-13. They received a warm welcome in Atlanta, where they dined with civil rights Martin Luther King Jr., who warned them of the danger awaiting them in Alabama.
Hank Aaron became the first major league baseball player to make 3,000 career hits and 500 home runs.
After a seventeen-game losing streak, Atlanta Braves' owner Ted Turner decided to personally manage the team. Wearing a Braves uniform, Turner spent only one day as manager. The team lost.
The 40 Watt Club, a prominent music venue in Athens, officially opened for business. The 40 Watt helped to launch the careers of many Georgia musicians, including the B-52's, R.E.M., Vic Chesnutt, and Widespread Panic.
The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History opened in Atlanta.
Governor Sonny Perdue authorized the creation of a new state flag for Georgia. It was the third official state flag in twenty-seven months.
May 8, 1716 James Wright, governor
May 28, 1764 Elizabeth Lichtenstein Johnston, writer
May 4, 1801 George W. Towns, governor
May 26, 1835 Edward Porter Alexander, Civil War general
May 7, 1845 Francis Fontaine, journalist
May 24, 1850 Henry W. Grady, journalist
May 15, 1860 Ellen Axson Wilson, U.S. first lady
May 22, 1875 Lucy May Stanton, artist
May 27, 1879 Nell Choate Jones, artist
May 11, 1882 G. Lloyd Preacher, architect
May 2, 1885 Emily Woodward, journalist
May 5, 1898 "Blind Willie" McTell, musician
May 23, 1900 Jasper Guy Woodroof, food science pioneer
May 1, 1903 Melvin E. Thompson, governor
May 7, 1905 "Bumble Bee Slim" Easton, musician
May 23, 1914 Celestine Sibley, journalist
May 27, 1917 Clifford "Baldy" Baldowski, editorial cartoonist
May 7, 1923 J. Mack Robinson, business leader
May 15, 1925 Carl Sanders, governor
May 15, 1930 Jasper Johns, artist
[May 3, 1933] James Brown, musician
May 21, 1941 Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves manager
May 28, 1944 Gladys Knight, musician
May 15, 1947 Wyatt Prunty, poet
Media Gallery: May in Georgia History