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Explore Georgia’s rich music history

From blues and soul to classical and country—our Spotify playlists feature 130+ songs written and performed by Georgians.

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Jesse O. Thomas

Jesse O. Thomas

Jesse O. Thomas, a Mississippi native, moved to Atlanta in 1919 and opened the Field Secretary Office of the National Urban League. During his tenure, he hired the first two Black public school nurses in Atlanta and organized the school of social work at Atlanta University (later Clark Atlanta University). During the 1940s the American Red Cross recruited him as its first African American employee, and he led the racial integration efforts of that organization until 1950. 

Courtesy of Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

Jesse O. Thomas

Jesse O. Thomas

Jesse O. Thomas, as head of the National Urban League's field office in Atlanta, played a prominent role in the city for nearly two decades. During World War II he created a highly successful program with the U.S. Treasury to sell war bonds to the African American community.

Courtesy of Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

Lugenia Burns Hope

Lugenia Burns Hope

Lugenia Burns Hope was a prominent community organizer and civil rights activist, at both local and national levels, in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1908 she founded the Neighborhood Union to provide assistance to Atlanta's impoverished Black neighborhoods, and in 1932 she became the first vice president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP.

Courtesy of Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives, Neighborhood Union Collection..

Hope Family

Hope Family

John and Lugenia Burns Hope, pictured with their sons, John and Edward, were leaders in Atlanta's Black community during the early 1900s. John Hope served as president of both Morehouse College and Atlanta University, and Lugenia Burns Hope founded Atlanta's Neighborhood Union.

Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House

The Neighborhood Union was formed in 1908 by Lugenia Burns Hope and other community organizers to combat social decay in Atlanta's Black neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Union offered assistance with housing, education, and medical care, and provided recreational opportunities.

Courtesy of Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives, Neighborhood Union Collection..

Mississippi Flood, 1927

Mississippi Flood, 1927

The Great Flood of 1927 devastated portions of Mississippi (pictured), Arkansas, and Louisiana. Atlanta activist Lugenia Burns Hope was appointed to U.S. president Herbert Hoover's Colored Advisory Commission, which investigated acts of racial discrimination during flood relief efforts.

Courtesy of Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives, Neighborhood Union Collection..

International Council of Women of the Darker Races

International Council of Women of the Darker Races

Lugenia Burns Hope (back row, far right) is pictured with members of the International Council of Women of the Darker Races, circa 1930. Hope later served as assistant to Mary McLeod Bethune (front row, far right), director of Negro Affairs for the National Youth Administration. Also pictured are Marion Wilkinson (front row, far left) and Mrs. Moton (back row, middle).

Courtesy of Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives, Neighborhood Union Collection..

Archibald Butt

Archibald Butt

After beginning a career in journalism, Augusta native Archibald Butt found success in the army, eventually attaining the rank of major. He is perhaps best known for his role as military aide to U.S. presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Butt Memorial Bridge

Butt Memorial Bridge

The Butt Memorial Bridge in downtown Augusta spans the Augusta Canal. Dedicated in 1914, the bridge was named for Archibald Butt, an Augusta native who was the military aide to U.S. president William Howard Taft at the time of his death aboard the Titanic. The bridge is the only Titanic memorial in Georgia.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Historic Postcard Collection, #hpc0814.

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William Taft and Archibald Butt

William Taft and Archibald Butt

U.S. president William Howard Taft (front row, second from left) attends a baseball game in 1910. Seated directly behind Taft is Augusta native Archibald Butt, who served as the president's military aide from 1909 until his death aboard the Titanic in 1912.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
rab289.

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Butt Memorial Bridge Dedication

Butt Memorial Bridge Dedication

U.S. president William Howard Taft (far right) presides at the April 1914 dedication of the Butt Memorial Bridge over the Augusta Canal between Walton Way and Green Street in downtown Augusta. The bridge was named in honor of Archibald Butt, military aide to Taft, who died during the sinking of the Titanic.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ric080.

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Viola Napier

Viola Napier

Viola Napier performs her duties as city clerk of Macon in 1952. One of the first two women elected to Georgia's state legislature, Napier became city clerk in 1927 and served in that capacity for twenty-seven years. She also provided unofficial legal counsel for five mayors during her tenure.

Viola Napier

Viola Napier

Viola Napier, pictured in 1932, was one of the first two women elected to Georgia's House of Representatives. She won office in 1922, along with Bessie Kempton, and served until 1926. Trained as a lawyer, Napier was also the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Richard B. Russell Sr.

Richard B. Russell Sr.

Richard B. Russell Sr. was elected chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1922. His prior service to the state included tenures as a state legislator and an appeals court justice. He was the father of Richard B. Russell Jr., who served as a U.S. senator from Georgia from 1933 to 1971.

Richard B. Russell Sr.

Richard B. Russell Sr.

As a young man, Richard B. Russell attended law school at the University of Georgia before his election in 1882 as the youngest member of the state legislator. He served for three terms, during which time he focused on promoting higher education in the state.

Richard Russell Sr. and Ina Dillard Russell

Richard Russell Sr. and Ina Dillard Russell

Richard B. Russell Sr., a state legislator and judge, and Ina Dillard visited Niagara Falls on their honeymoon in June 1891. The couple married in 1888, and the first of their fourteen children was born in 1893.

Campaign Sign

Campaign Sign

Richard B. Russell Sr. campaigned for the office of chief justice of the state supreme court in 1922. He won the election over incumbent William Fish and served on the bench until his death in 1938.

Russell Family

Russell Family

Ina Dillard and Richard B. Russell Sr. (center) pose with their children for a campaign photo in 1922. Richard B. Russell Jr., a future governor and U.S. senator, sits beside his father.

Ina Dillard Russell

Ina Dillard Russell

Ina Dillard Russell, the wife of Richard B. Russell Sr. and mother of Richard B. Russell Jr., stands in the garden of the Governor's Mansion in 1931. Known as "Mother Russell" across the state, Russell and her husband lived at the mansion during their son's tenure as governor from 1931 to 1933.

Dillard with Teachers

Dillard with Teachers

Ina Dillard, standing in the second row, third from the left, poses in 1890 with fellow teachers in Athens. Dillard taught the third grade at Washington Street School in Athens from 1889 until 1891, when she married Richard B. Russell Sr., a future chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Russell Family

Russell Family

Ina Dillard Russell, surrounded by her thirteen children, sits on the porch of the Russell home in Barrow County on June 22, 1953. Russell taught her children at home during their early years and was known for writing long instructional letters to them after they went away to school.

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin poses for a portrait in 1916, the same year in which she became the first woman to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives. In the decade before her election, Rankin had worked for women's suffrage, which was achieved with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment during her tenure in the House.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin spent most of the last years of her life in Watksinsville. A dedicated pacifist, Rankin actively opposed both world wars and the Vietnam War during her long political career.

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin, a native of Montana, became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916 and later purchased property in Georgia, first in Bogart and then in Watksinsville. After her death in 1973, proceeds from the sale of her Watkinsville land were used in 1976 to found the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, which is headquartered in Athens.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, George Grantham Bain Collection, #LC-DIG-ggbain-23835.

Dobbs Family, Spelman Graduates

Dobbs Family, Spelman Graduates

Irene and John Wesley Dobbs with their six daughters and grandchildren at the Spelman College graduation of daughter June. The Dobbs girls all graduated from Spelman. (Left to right) Mr. Dobbs; Irene Dobbs Jackson, class of '29; Juliet Dobbs Blackburn, class of '31; Millicent Dobbs Jordan, class of '33; Josephine Dobbs Clement, class of '37; Mattiwilda Dobbs Janzon, class of '46; June Dobbs Butts, class of '48; and Mrs. Dobbs.

Courtesy of Spelman College Archives

John Wesley Dobbs

John Wesley Dobbs

John Wesley Dobbs was one of the most influential African Americans in Atlanta during the first half of the twentieth century. The founder of the Atlanta Civic and Political League and cofounder of the Atlanta Negro Voters League, Dobbs worked throughout his life to further the causes of Black suffrage and equality.

Lindbergh Parade

Lindbergh Parade

Charles Lindbergh parades through downtown Atlanta where crowds line the street on October 11, 1927. He is on his way to Grant Field at Georgia Tech, where he will deliver a message on the commercial potential of aviation to a crowd of 20,000 people.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Spirit of St. Louis

Spirit of St. Louis

Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis lands on the grass runway at Candler Field on October 11, 1927. The day was cloudy and rainy but that did not deter thousands from meeting Lindbergh at the field. The Spirit of St. Louis is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh

The groundbreaking aviator Charles Lindbergh stands beside an airplane on Sapelo Island. The photograph was probably taken around 1929, when Lindbergh paid a short visit to the island.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #sap058.

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Charles Lindbergh Departs

Charles Lindbergh Departs

In this aerial photograph Charles Lindbergh prepares to take off from Candler Field on October 12, 1927, in the Spirit of St. Louis. He is bound for Spartanburg, South Carolina, the next stop on his triumphal tour.

Lindbergh Stamp

Lindbergh Stamp

The 1927 Lindbergh U.S. Air Mail stamp commemorates Charles Lindbergh's record-breaking transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis, a specially constructed Ryan monoplane.

Souther Field Historical Marker

Souther Field Historical Marker

This marker commemorating Charles Lindbergh's solo flight was placed on the grounds of present-day Souther Field Airport in 1985, although the actual location of Lindbergh's flight is the ground beneath what is now the South Georgia Technical College campus.

Photograph by Jamil S. Zainaldin

Lindbergh Day Arrival

Lindbergh Day Arrival

Governor Lamartine Hardman (right) greeting aviator Charles Lindbergh (left) upon his arrival at Candler Field during his nationwide tour in 1927.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Walter White

Walter White

A prominent African American figure and spokesperson during the early civil rights years, Walter White served as chief secretary of the NAACP from 1929 to 1955.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection, #LC-USF34-013342-C.

Primus E. King

Primus E. King

In 1977 the Democratic Executive Committee of Muscogee County, as mandated by Federal Judge T. Hoyt Davis in 1945, presented a check for $324.70 to Primus E. King. The court awarded the money to King in reparation for the denial of his right to vote in a 1944 Democratic primary.

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler founded the first chapter of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers in 1911 and is credited with cofounding the National Parent Teacher Association.

Courtesy of Andrew College

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler, considered to be a cofounder of the National Parent Teacher Association, was a teacher and community leader for many years in Atlanta. In addition to founding the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers in 1911, she served as a leader in the Spelman Alumnae Association, the Atlanta YWCA, and the Georgia Federation of Colored Women's Clubs.

Roosevelt Motorcade

Roosevelt Motorcade

U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt waves from a motorcade with his daughter Anna (center) and wife, Eleanor, circa 1932.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Franklin D. Roosevelt at Warm Springs

Franklin D. Roosevelt at Warm Springs

Through his foundation at Warm Springs, Franklin D. Roosevelt began to study the connections between Georgia's difficult agricultural conditions and its social and educational problems. His New Deal programs would ultimately address the nation's and Georgia's social conditions.

Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Little White House

Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Little White House

In 1924, three years after Roosevelt contracted polio, he began visiting Warm Springs in Georgia. The springs were thought to be beneficial for polio victims. Roosevelt, who became the U.S. president in 1932, is pictured in front of the Little White House in Warm Springs.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard B. Russell Jr.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard B. Russell Jr.

Richard B. Russell Jr. (right) campaigns in Warm Springs for U.S. presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Russell, upon his election to the U.S. Senate in 1933, helped to ensure passage of Roosevelt's New Deal programs throughout the 1930s.

James M. Cox and Franklin D. Roosevelt

James M. Cox and Franklin D. Roosevelt

James M. Cox (left), the governor of Ohio and founder of Cox Enterprises, is pictured at the White House with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1920. That year Roosevelt, who was elected president of the United States in 1932, ran as Cox's vice presidential candidate during Cox's unsuccessful bid for the presidency.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Little White House

Little White House

From 1924 to 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt maintained a residence in Warm Springs, known as Little White House. Since 1948 the house has been open to the public.

Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Techwood Homes Dedication

Techwood Homes Dedication

U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks in Atlanta at the dedication ceremony for Techwood Homes, the nation's first public housing project, on November 29, 1935.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

During his visits to Warm Springs, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, pictured in 1932, enjoyed traveling the countryside and getting to know the concerns of members of the community.

Roosevelt Family

Roosevelt Family

Eleanor Roosevelt (far left) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (center) stand aboard the battleship Indiana in 1934, accompanied by their daughter-in-law Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, their son James Roosevelt, and Franklin's mother, Sara Roosevelt.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Little White House Stamp

FDR and the Little White House Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service featured Franklin D. Roosevelt's home in Warm Springs, dubbed the "Little White House," on this 1945 postage stamp. The house is open to the public today, and the nearby Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center still serves patients with spinal cord injuries.

Courtesy of Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Alonzo Herndon

Alonzo Herndon

As founder and first president of Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Alonzo Herndon displayed a leadership that blended ideals of racial self-help and independent entrepreneurship.

Courtesy of Alexa Benson Henderson

Alonzo Herndon with Mother and Brother

Alonzo Herndon with Mother and Brother

Alonzo Herndon with his mother, Sophenie, and his brother, Thomas, ca. 1890. About his early life Alonzo writes, "My mother was emancipated when I was seven years old and my brother Tom five years old. She was sent adrift in the world with her two children and a corded bed and [a] few quilts. . . . She hired herself out by the day and as there was money in the country, she received as pay potatoes, molasses, and peas enough to keep us from starving."

Courtesy of The Herndon Home

Herndon Family

Herndon Family

Alonzo, Adrienne, and Norris Herndon, 1907. Alonzo's marriage to Adrienne had a far-reaching impact on his life, greatly influencing his cultural and educational growth. It also produced his only child, Norris, who succeeded him as chief executive of Atlanta Life Insurance Company.

Courtesy of The Herndon Home

Herndon Home

Herndon Home

The Herndon Home (1910) in Atlanta was the residence of Alonzo Herndon, the founder of Atlanta Life Insurance Company, and his wife Adrienne, who designed the house. The remarkable structure has been a National Historic Landmark since 2000.

Staff of Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Staff of Atlanta Life Insurance Company

The staff of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company Branch Office, ca. 1925. In 1922 the company had achieved legal reserve status, a position enjoyed by only four other Black insurance companies at that time.

Courtesy of The Herndon Home

Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low

Portrait of Juliette Gordon Low by A. Jonnieaux, commissioned by Low for the boardroom of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. The painting is now displayed at the Juliette Low Birthplace in Savannah.

Courtesy of Girl Scouts of the USA, Collection of Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Savannah.

Juliette Gordon Low in London

Juliette Gordon Low in London

Photograph portrait of Juliette Gordon Low, while in England, by Alice Hughes.

Courtesy of Girl Scouts of the USA

Andrew Low House, Savannah

Andrew Low House, Savannah

Architect John Norris began designing the Andrew Low House, on Lafayette Square in Savannah, in 1847. The three-story stucco-over-brick structure was designed in the Italianate style. Juliette Gordon Low married Andrew Low's son, and she went on to found the Girl Scouts of America in this house in 1912.

Handbook for Girl Scouts, 1913

Handbook for Girl Scouts, 1913

In 1913 W. J. Hoxie, a noted naturalist from Savannah, and Juliette Gordon Lowprepared an official Girl Scout handbook, "How Girls Can Help Their Country,"which was adapted from the original handbook for British Girl Guides.

Courtesy of Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts in Savannah

Girl Scouts in Savannah

Girl Scouts congregate outside the Juliette Low Birthplace, also known as the Wayne-Gordon House, in Savannah.

Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low with a group of American Girl Scouts, circa 1917.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low

This 1948 postage stamp features a likeness of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Guides of America, later known as the Girl Scouts of the United States, in Savannah in 1912.

Courtesy of Smithsonian National Postal Museum

W. E. B. Du Bois and Family

W. E. B. Du Bois and Family

W. E. B. Du Bois and his wife, Nina, are pictured with their son, Burghardt, who died of diphtheria in Atlanta in 1899 at the age of two.

Courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois, pictured circa 1920s, was an educator, historian, and social activist who addressed the issues of Black social problems and world peace. He wrote some of his best-known works in Georgia.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records, #LC-USZ62-123822.

Helen Dortch Longstreet

Helen Dortch Longstreet

In 1904 Helen Longstreet privately published Lee and Longstreet at High Tide, in which she tried to defend and resuscitate her husband's wartime reputation.

Helen Dortch Longstreet

Helen Dortch Longstreet

Helen Dortch Longstreet, the second wife of General James Longstreet, is remembered for her unflagging work as a Confederate memorialist, progressive reformer, and a librarian and postmistress. She is also known for her unsuccessful efforts to prevent the damming of Tallulah Falls in northeast Georgia.

Howard Coffin

Howard Coffin

Detroit automotive engineer Howard Coffin (right) visits with U.S. president Calvin Coolidge (left) on the porch of "The Big House"—the south-end tabby-stucco structure originally built by Thomas Spalding in 1810. Coffin owned much of Sapelo Island from 1912 to 1934.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # sap118.

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Howard Coffin

Howard Coffin

Howard Coffin, a pioneer in the automobile industry, is credited with revitalizing Georgia's coast as a popular tourist destination. In the early 1900s Coffin owned all or part of Sea, St. Simons, and Sapelo islands.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Harris & Ewing collection.

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The Cloister

The Cloister

The Cloister, a luxury hotel built on Sea Island in 1928, served as the primary venue for the G8 Summit in 2004. The automotive engineer Howard Coffin commissioned the architect Addison Mizner, noted for his work in Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Florida, to design the hotel.

Arthur F. Raper

Arthur F. Raper

Sociologist Arthur F. Raper exposed Georgia's racial and economic inequities and criticized the damaging institutions of lynching, sharecropping, and tenancy. His work in Greene County stressed the economic exploitation of the sharecropper system.

From The War Within, by Daniel Joseph Singal

Helen Douglas Mankin

Helen Douglas Mankin

Helen Douglas Mankin confers with President Harry S Truman on March 14, 1946, after her election to Congress.

Courtesy of Lorraine Nelson Spritzer

Helen Douglas Mankin

Helen Douglas Mankin

Helen Douglas Mankin is the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress from Georgia. Though she won a large popular majority in the next general election, Mankin was forced from office by Georgia's white supremacist leadership, which invoked the state's county unit system against her.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Harris & Ewing Collection.

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Eugene Bullard

eugene-bullard_001-scaled-opt

Eugene Bullard, pictured in 1929, was the world's first Black combat aviator. A native of Columbus, Bullard moved in 1912 to England, where he worked as a prizefighter. He joined the French army at the beginning of World War I and eventually received flight training. During the war he flew at least twenty missions and downed at least one German plane.

Courtesy of Musée de l'Air, Paris, France

Eugene Bullard

Eugene Bullard

Columbus native Eugene James (Jacques) Bullard was the world's first Black combat aviator, flying in French squadrons during World War I.

Image from U.S. Air Force

Color photograph of Eugene Bullard Statue at Robins Air Force Base

Eugene Bullard Statue

On October 9, 2019, a statue honoring Eugene Bullard—the world's first Black fighter pilot—was unveiled at the Museum of Aviation, on the grounds of Robins Air Force Base. 

Photograph by Captain Edner J. Julian, U.S. Army National Guard

Herman Talmadge and Ellis Arnall

Herman Talmadge and Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall, far left, shakes hands with Herman Talmadge, who is obscured, on January 7, 1947. Running for office on the heels of the Cocking affair, the thirty-five-year-old Arnall defeated Eugene Talmadge to become the youngest governor in the nation.Herman E. Talmadge Collection.

Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall

Arnall's four years as governor of Georgia (1943-47) are considered to be among the most progressive and effective in the modern history of the state. His refusal to step down in 1947 after Eugene Talmadge's death led to the "three governors controversy."

Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall signs a statement in Atlanta in 1947 as Georgia secretary of state Ben W. Fortson and others look on. At the far right is Albert Riley, a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
geo035.

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Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall

As governor, Arnall successfully led efforts to restore accreditation to Georgia's institutions of higher learning. He reformed the state penal system, repealed the poll tax, lowered the voting age, revised the state constitution, established a teachers' retirement system, and paid off the long-existing state debt, among other feats.

Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall

After his term as governor ended in 1947, Ellis Arnall became a successful attorney and businessman in Atlanta. After losing the 1966 gubernatorial campaign to Lester Maddox, the former governor never sought public office again.

Carl Vinson

Carl Vinson

Carl Vinson, recognized as "the father of the two-ocean navy," served twenty-five consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Vinson with Sam Nunn

Vinson with Sam Nunn

Vinson, an advocate for strong defense policies throughout his career, sits with his grandnephew Sam Nunn. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Nunn followed his "Uncle Carl" as a respected leader in matters of national defense.