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



Major military engagements this month include the seizure of Augusta from the British on June 5 by Elijah Clarke and others during the Revolutionary War (1775-83).



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  Battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place on June 27, and that same month the USS Water Witch was captured by Confederate raiders in the waters south of Savannah.

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division


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.



A  soldiers’ home for Confederate veterans opened in Atlanta on June 3 with funds provided by the Inman family.

Confederate Soldiers’ Home
Confederate Soldiers’ Home

Courtesy of Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


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.

The Spirit of Delta
The Spirit of Delta

Reprinted by permission of Delta Air Lines


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.


Margaret Mitchell’s iconic novel Gone With the Wind was published.


Columbus native Carson McCullers’s acclaimed novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published.



Weight lifter Paul Anderson,  a native of Stephens County, is believed to have back lifted 6,270 pounds, thereby becoming the “world’s strongest man” according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson

Courtesy of Georgia Archives.


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.


Grace Towns Hamilton  became the first African American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly.

The National Football League awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which became the Atlanta Falcons. The National Hockey League followed suit in 1997, with a team that became the Atlanta Thrashers.


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.


Entrepreneurs Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus opened the first two Home Depot stores in Atlanta.


Ted Turner launched CNN in Atlanta.



Sea Island,  a barrier island in Glynn County, hosted the G8 Summit of World Leaders.

G8 Summit on Sea Island
G8 Summit on Sea Island

Courtesy of Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


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 Birthdays

June 17, 1703                    John Wesley, founder of Methodism

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 12, 1945                    Cornelia Bailey, Geechee preservationist

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

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A handwritten copy of Martin Luther King Jr.'s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize is included in the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. King delivered the speech in Oslo, Norway, in 1964.