A number of significant historical events have occurred in Georgia during the month of June.
In June 1863, during the Union blockade and coastal occupation of the Civil War (1861-65), Confederate flag officer Josiah Tattnall lost the ironclad Atlanta while attempting to break the blockade. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment, one of the Union’s first African American regiments, also attacked Darien and caused the greatest wartime destruction to civilian property along the Georgia coast.
The Atlanta Constitution published its first issue.
Atlanta druggist John Stith Pemberton registered a patent for the formula now known as Coca-Cola. Nearly 100 years later, in 1985, the Coca-Cola Company announced that it would bring back its original formula, to be known as “Classic Coke,” after a dismal experience with the “New Coke” formula.
Grady Hospital opened in Atlanta on June 1.
Robert Elliott Burns, author of I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang!, escaped from a chain gang in Campbell County (later Fulton County). His book was instrumental in bringing to national attention the abuses within southern chain gangs, which had replaced the outlawed convict lease system.
Fannin County native “Fiddlin’” John Carson launched the country music recording industry when he recorded two songs for Okeh Records. In June 1925 his daughter, Moonshine Kate, made her recording debut playing guitar on four of Carson’s songs.
The Garden Club of Georgia was established in Atlanta.
Delta Air Lines, later headquartered in Atlanta, began its first passenger service, from Dallas, Texas, to Jackson, Mississippi.
On June 30 more than 1,000 out-of-work laborers marched on the Fulton County Courthouse, demanding the resumption of relief payments that had been suspended several days earlier. The demonstration led to a citywide investigation of communist activity in Atlanta, which resulted in the arrest of activist Angelo Herndon.
A tragic plane crash at Orly Airport in Paris, France, killed 106 Atlantans, many of whom were important civic and cultural leaders in the city.
The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies was dedicated at the University of Georgia in Athens.
MARTA opened its first rail line (the east line) in Atlanta, charging a fare of twenty-five cents.
The city of Atlanta acquired a collection of papers belonging to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The collection, deeded to King’s alma mater Morehouse College, is housed in the archives of the Atlanta University Center.
June 5, 1750 John Twiggs, military leader
June 11, 1751 John Abbot, artist
June 20, 1773 Peter Early, governor
June 24, 1820 Henry Rootes Jackson, military leader
June 28, 1824 W. T. Wofford, politician
June 15, 1826 Bill Arp, journalist
June 1, 1833 Lizzie Rutherford, founder of Confederate Memorial Day
June 10, 1835 Rebecca Latimer Felton, politician
June 1857 J. W. Golucke, architect
June 26, 1858 Alonzo Herndon, businessman
June 2, 1861 Isa-Beall Williams Neel, educator
June 6, 1861 Joseph M. Terrell, governor
June 28, 1863 W. C. Bradley, businessman
June 2, 1868 John Hope, educator
June 21, 1874 Julian Harris, journalist
June 19, 1877 Charles Coburn, actor
June 11, 1880 Jeannette Rankin, politician and philanthropist
June 30, 1883 Dorothy Rogers Tilly, civil rights activist
June 3, 1887 Roland Hayes, musician
June 3, 1900 Brainard Cheney, writer
June 16, 1913 Jackson Lee Nesbitt, artist
June 22, 1916 Eugenia Price, writer
June 30, 1917 Susan Hayward, actor
June 30, 1917 Lena Horne, musician and actor
June 26, 1918 J. B. Fuqua, businessman
June 30, 1922 Denmark Groover, politician
June 5, 1924 John Amos, businessman
June 20, 1924 Chet Atkins, musician
June 26, 1926 Nat Peeples, athlete
June 18, 1927 George T. Heery, architect
June 17, 1928 Willard Nixon, athlete
June 2, 1931 William A. Connelly, military leader
June 3, 1931 Bert Lance, politician
June 7, 1935 Harry Crews, writer
June 14, 1936 Mary Frances Early, first African American graduate of UGA
June 3, 1942 Curtis Mayfield, musician
June 17, 1943 Newt Gingrich, politician
June 3, 1944 Edith McGuire, athlete
June 27, 1947 Charlie Smith, writer
June 23, 1948 Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court justice
June 13, 1955 Leah Ward Sears, Supreme Court of Georgia chief justice
June 12, 1965 Gwen Torrence, athlete