A number of significant historical events have occurred in Georgia during the month of August.



Revolutionary War veteran Austin Dabney became the only African American to be granted land by the state of Georgia in recognition of his war service.



The first documented evidence of gold in north Georgia was reported in the August 1 issue of the Milledgeville newspaper Georgia Journal.



During the Civil War, Union general William T. Sherman’s artillery bombarded Atlanta in the last month of the Atlanta campaign, showering 3,000 rounds on the city on August 9. Union general Ulysses S. Grant issued Circular No. 31, which rewarded Confederate deserters with monetary incentives and transport home, while Confederate general Robert E. Lee attempted to sustain his fighting force by issuing General Orders No. 64, offering amnesty to any deserter who returned to Confederate service.


In one of the nineteenth century’s most infamous crimes, nine members of the Woolfolk family were murdered in their Bibb County home by Thomas G. Woolfolk.


One of the deadliest hurricanes in American history made landfall south of Tybee Island on August 27.



On the night of August 14, residents in Elberton dismantled “Dutchy,” a granite statue of a Confederate soldier that was described as looking like a “strange monster. . . a cross between a Pennsylvania Dutchman and a hippopotamus.”


The Atlanta Colored Music Festival Association presented its debut concert of classical music.


A funeral procession for first lady Ellen Axson Wilson, wife of U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, was held in Rome on August 11.


Accused murderer Leo Frank was taken from a prison in Milledgeville and lynched by a mob in Marietta.


Trust Company of Georgia (later SunTrust Bank) purchased the Candler family’s controlling interests in the Coca-Cola Company for $25 million.


Citizens Trust Bank, founded to serve African American clients, opened on Auburn Avenue.


The inaugural issue of the Atlanta Daily World, based on Sweet Auburn, was published.


The University System of Georgia was created under the State Reorganization Act of 1931.


Benjamin Mays  became president of Morehouse College in Atlanta on August 1, his forty-first birthday. He was responsible for tremendous growth in the school’s size and stature.

Benjamin Mays
Benjamin Mays

Courtesy of Morehouse College


Voters approved a new Georgia Constitution.



Lightweight boxing champion Beau Jack fought his last match on August 12.

Beau Jack
Beau Jack

Photograph from Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia


Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. launched the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta.


A caravan of seven mule-drawn covered wagons left Dahlonega with gold to gild the dome of the state capitol in Atlanta.


The first Gulfstream aircraft, produced by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Savannah, had its maiden flight.


Atlanta peacefully integrated its public schools under the leadership of Mayor William B. Hartsfield.


During the Albany Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. invited Jackie Robinson to Albany to help raise money for the rebuilding of two burned churches.


Mary Frances Early became the first African American to graduate from the University of Georgia.


On August 28, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.


Marietta-based Lockheed Aircraft Corporation introduced the first production model of the C-141 Starlifter aircraft.


Courtesy of Robins Air Force Base


Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders returned to Washington, D.C., to witness the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


On August 28, Brazilian soccer club Santos, featuring the world-famous player Pelé, played the Atlanta Chiefs at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium before 26,713 spectators.


Historic Westville, a living history museum in west Georgia, was formally founded on August 31.


Courtesy of Historic Westville


The Macon-based Allman Brothers Band recorded its first album.


The Georgia Poetry Society was founded in Atlanta.


On August 6, Atlanta Braves player Hank Aaron hit his 661st home run, setting the major league record for home runs hit by a player for a single franchise.


Dr. Betty L. Siegel became the first woman president in the University System of Georgia when she was chosen to head Kennesaw State University.


The Coca-Cola Company opened the World of Coca-Cola in downtown Atlanta.


The closing ceremonies for the Atlanta Olympic Games were held on August 4.


Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was demolished by implosion on August 2.


In ceremonies at the Carter Center on August 9, U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, each received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. president Bill Clinton.

Carter Center
Carter Center

Courtesy of the Carter Center



Lena Baker, the first and only woman to be executed in Georgia’s electric chair, was pardoned posthumously by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

August Birthdays

  • August 24, 1706                  Daniel Marshall, religious leader
  • August [?], 1721                  Henry Ellis, Georgia governor
  • August 27, 1724                  John J. Zubly, religious leader
  • August [?], 1739                  George Mathews, Georgia governor
  • August 30, 1740                  David Bushnell, submarine inventor
  • August [?], 1742                  Nathanael Greene, military leader
  • August 15, 1754                  Benjamin Hawkins, Indian affairs agent
  • August 23, 1781                  John Macpherson Berrien, politician
  • August 25, 1787                  Daniel Appling, military leader
  • August 16, 1798                  Mirabeau B. Lamar, politician
  • August 31, 1812                  William Tappan Thompson, journalist
  • August 10, 1840                  Eliza Frances Andrews, writer
  • August 8, 1842                    John Morgan, Mormon missionary to Georgia
  • August 6, 1848                    Susie King Taylor, educator
  • August 14, 1851                  John Henry “Doc” Holliday, gunman and gambler
  • August 2, 1854                    Alfredo Barili, musician
  • August 11, 1860                  Gari Melchers, artist
  • August 31, 1865                  Charles E. Choate, architect
  • August 24, 1871                  Steadman V. Sanford, educator
  • August 23, 1887                  J. M. Henson, musician
  • August 5, 1889                    Conrad Aiken, writer
  • August 1, 1894                    Benjamin Mays, educator
  • August 21, 1898                  Hugh Peterson Sr., politician
  • August 26, 1900                  Hale Woodruff, artist
  • August 19, 1902                  William Bootle, judge
  • August 26, 1903                  Caroline Miller, writer
  • August 18, 1907                  Howard Swanson, musician
  • August 4, 1911                    Jacob Rothschild, religious leader
  • August 8, 1913                    Cecil Travis, baseball player
  • August 9, 1913                    Herman Talmadge, Georgia governor
  • August 13, 1913                  Lee Roy Abernathy, musician
  • August 17, 1913                  Rudy York, baseball player
  • August 15, 1921                  Donald Bryan, “Mighty Eighth” member
  • August 25, 1923                  Mac Hyman, writer
  • August 8, 1926                    Mike Egan, politician
  • August 7, 1927                    George Busbee, Georgia governor
  • August 18, 1927                  Rosalynn Carter, first lady
  • August 16, 1933                  Bill Shipp, journalist
  • August 15, 1935                  Vernon Jordan, politician
  • August 1, 1937                    Walter Griffin, writer
  • August 20, 1942                  Isaac Hayes, musician
  • August 24, 1942                  Max Cleland, politician
  • August 14, 1943                  Alfred Corn, writer
  • August 29, 1945                  Wyomia Tyus, Olympic runner
  • August 30, 1948                  Stephen Corey, writer
  • August 31, 1955                  Edwin Moses, Olympian
  • August 8, 1958                    Deborah Norville, journalist
  • August 15, 1869                  Moina Belle Michael, remembrance advocate
  • August 12, 1948                  Sue Monk Kidd, writer
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A basket weaver demonstrates his craft at Historic Westville, a living history museum in west Georgia.

Courtesy of Historic Westville