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

1750-1799

1765

Naturalists  John and William Bartram discovered a small grove of trees with white flowers along the southern reaches of the Altamaha River; the species became commonly known as the Franklin tree.

Franklin Tree
Franklin Tree

From Travels, by W. Bartram


1776

Georgia held its first constitutional convention in Savannah.


1779

During the Revolutionary War, a fierce battle known as the Siege of Savannah took place between the city’s British occupiers and combined American and French troops. Polish count Casimir Pulaski was killed in the fighting.


1800-1849

1807

The state capital moved from Louisville to Milledgeville.


1829

The Medical College of Georgia (later Georgia Health Sciences University) opened in Augusta.


1832

The  first drawing of the Georgia land lottery was held in Milledgeville.

Georgia Land Lottery
Georgia Land Lottery

Artwork by George I. Parrish Jr. Courtesy of Cindy Parrish, Maryville,TN


1836

Entrepreneur Nelson Tift founded the city of Albany, today the seat of Dougherty County.


1842

Construction of Central State Hospital in Milledgeville was completed.


1850-1899

1879

Governor Alfred H. Colquitt signed legislation creating Georgia’s first official state flag.


1881

Georgia  native John Henry “Doc” Holliday participated in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Henry Burroughs Holliday
Henry Burroughs Holliday

Courtesy of Georgia Archives.


1888

The Georgia Institute of Technology opened in Atlanta.


1889

A sham Civil War battle, an early form of reenacting, took place during an Atlanta cotton exposition.


1890

The Salvation Army began its work in Georgia.


1899

Ruskin Commonwealth, a short-lived Utopian community in Ware County, was incorporated.


1900-1949

1906

Voters elected to ratify an amendment to the state constitution creating the Court of Appeals of Georgia.


1918

During World War I, troops began arriving at a new military camp outside Columbus, which would later be called Fort Benning.


1918

On  October 6, approximately 130 soldiers from Fort Screven died onboard the Otranto, which sank en route to England during World War I.

Otranto
Otranto

Courtesy of Todd Womack


1923

The first incarnation of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premiered on October 7.


1924

Franklin D. Roosevelt, paralyzed after an attack of polio, visited Warm Springs for the first time. He subsequently built a home there, which was known during his presidency as the “Little White House.”


1927

On  October 11, aviator Charles Lindbergh arrived for “Lindbergh Day” in Atlanta to celebrate his record-breaking transatlantic flight.

Charles Lindbergh Prepares to Depart
Charles Lindbergh Prepares to Depart

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.


1928

The Cloister hotel opened on Sea Island.


1929

The University of Georgia football team defeated the Yale University team in the inaugural game at Sanford Stadium (named for the educator Steadman V. Sanford).


1940

The first troops arrived at Camp Stewart (later Fort Stewart), outside Savannah.


1941

An official groundbreaking and flag-raising ceremony took place at Fort Gordon in Augusta.


1941

Governor Eugene Talmadge  declared October 23 to be “Swamp Water Day” in honor of the Hollywood movie Swamp Water, which premiered in Waycross that evening.

Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island

Courtesy of Jekyll Island Museum


1947

The state of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island, which subsequently became Jekyll Island State Park.


1949

WERD, Atlanta’s first Black radio station, started broadcasting.


1950-1999

1950

Evangelist Billy Graham brought his crusade to Atlanta for the first time, and he drew the largest crowd of his career there on October 29.


1958

The  Temple, Atlanta’s oldest and most prominent Jewish synagogue, was bombed on October 12, likely in response to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild’s stance against segregation.

Temple Bombing
Temple Bombing

Courtesy of Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


1963

Savannah city leaders desegregated public and private facilities on October 1.


1964

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in history.


1968

In Atlanta, the Alliance Theatre held its debut performance.


1973

Maynard Jackson was elected mayor of Atlanta, becoming the first Black mayor of a major southern city.


1973

Gladys Knight

and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” went to number one on the pop singles chart.


1980

Heavyweight boxing champion Larry Holmes scored an eleventh-round technical knockout over the former titleholder Muhammad Ali.


1986

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum was dedicated in Atlanta.


1990

Evander Holyfield took the heavyweight title for the first of three times he would win it, a record matched only by Muhammad Ali.


1990

A Conyers housewife first claimed to have received messages from the Virgin Mary; her visions ceased in October 1998.


1991

Georgian Clarence Thomas was sworn in as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.


1992

The   Fernbank Museum of Natural History opened in Atlanta.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Image from Jeremy Brooks


1995

The Atlanta Braves won the World Series, the team’s first series win in thirty-eight years.


1998

On October 24, the Atlanta Braves played their last game in Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium before moving to Turner Field (later Center Parc Stadium).


2000-Present

2002

U.S.  president Jimmy Carter became the second Georgia native to win the Nobel Peace Prize, setting a record for the most recipients of the award from one state.


2004

Filming began on the feature film Warm Springs, which chronicles the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1921 to 1928.


2008

In Atlanta, filmmaker Tyler Perry opens the nation’s first major film studio owned by an African American.


October Birthdays

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Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island

The western side of Jekyll Island is fronted by Jekyll Creek and salt marsh, and the eastern edge of the island is defined by its beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Courtesy of Jekyll Island Museum