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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.

Black and white photograph of Milledgeville State Hospital circa 1940

Milledgeville State Hospital

A sleeping ward at Milledgeville State Hospital for the Insane, circa 1940. Authorities at the hospital practiced compulsory sterilization of patients throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Following an award-winning 1959 report by Atlanta Constitution Jack Nelson, the number of operations dropped dramatically before finally ceasing in 1963.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive .

Black and white photo of Francis Galton

Francis Galton

Francis Galton was an English statistician whose theories on heredity lead him to develop the field of eugenics. During the early twentieth century, Galton's ideas gained support among scientific and medical professionals, politicians, and Progressive-era reform groups.

Image from Eveleen Myers

Georgia State Sanitarium

Georgia State Sanitarium

This tinted postcard of the Georgia State Sanitarium (later Central State Hospital) depicts the grounds of the institution circa 1905. During this time the hospital was under the leadership of Theophilus O. Powell, who implemented more precise methods of diagnosis.

Courtesy of Melinda Smith Mullikin, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Cabbage Farm

Cabbage Farm

A small area of concentrated vegetable production, mostly cabbage, pumpkins, tomatoes, and sweet corn, exists north of Atlanta. A cabbage farm in Fannin County is pictured.

Nuclear Threat Initiative Board

Nuclear Threat Initiative Board

Members of the board for the Nuclear Threat Initiative include, back row, left to right: Fujia Yang, Eugene E. Habiger, Hisashi Owada, Susan Eisenhower, Sam Nunn, Ted Turner, Andrei Kokoshin, Jessica Mathews, Charles B. Curtis, Prince El Hassan bin Talal. Front row, left to right: William Perry, Rolf Ekeus, Richard G. Lugar, Nafis Sadik.

Courtesy of Nuclear Threat Initiative

Fulton County Voters

Fulton County Voters

Voters in Fulton County line up at the polls in the early 1970s.

Courtesy of Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives, Voter Education Project Organizational Records.

Johnson Signs Voting Rights Act

Johnson Signs Voting Rights Act

U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965, as a crowd, including Martin Luther King, looks on. The law prohibited racial discrimination in voting procedures. Today Georgia voters must be eighteen years of age and legal residents of a state county.

Photograph by Wikimedia

County Unit System

County Unit System

Election day in Kingsland, Camden County, in the early 1960s, before the advent of voting booths. Georgia's elections were governed by the county unit system, which gave more weight to rural votes than to urban votes, until 1962. Even though they were home to a minority of Georgians, rural counties usually decided the winners of statewide elections.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
cam368.

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Georgia State Capitol

Georgia State Capitol

Atlanta has served as the capital city of Georgia since 1868. The current gold-domed capitol building, completed in 1889, houses the General Assembly in downtown Atlanta.

Lester Maddox, 1964

Lester Maddox, 1964

In 1966 Lester Maddox defeated former governor Ellis Arnall in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in a major political upset. Subsequently, as a result of a close race between Maddox and Republican Bo Callaway, the General Assembly chose Maddox as governor.

Ellis Arnall

Ellis Arnall

Arnall, who had served as governor from 1943 to 1947, became the front-runner in the 1966 gubernatorial race. His accomplishments as a reform governor included establishing a retirement system for teachers, repealing the state's poll tax, lowering the voting age to eighteen, and gaining reaccreditation of the University System of Georgia.

Bo Callaway

Bo Callaway

Bo Callaway was elected in 1964 as the first Republican congressman from Georgia since 1875. He ran for governor in the 1966 general election, but the presence of a write-in candidate prevented him from receiving the constitutionally required majority, costing him the election.

Image from George Augusta

Eugene Talmadge

Eugene Talmadge

Eugene Talmadge served as governor of Georgia from 1933 to 1937 and again from 1941 to 1943. His tenure included the controversial Cocking affair in 1941, and his death in 1946 touched off the unprecedented "three governors controversy."

Harmon Caldwell

Harmon Caldwell

Harmon Caldwell, president of the University of Georgia during the Cocking affair in 1941, announced he would resign from his post if Walter Cocking didn't receive a hearing before termination of his position as dean of the school's College of Education.

Herman Talmadge

Herman Talmadge

Herman Talmadge served as governor of Georgia from 1948 to 1954. In 1956 Talmadge was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until his defeat in 1980.

Melvin E. Thompson

Melvin E. Thompson

In 1947 newly elected lieutenant governor Melvin E. Thompson claimed the office of governor, after the death of Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge. He was contested by both outgoing governor Ellis Arnall and Talmadge's son, Herman.

Herman Talmadge

Herman Talmadge

Herman Talmadge, son of Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge, took the governor's office briefly in 1947, and again after a special election in 1948.

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."