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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.

Map of Georgia, 1851

Map of Georgia, 1851

William G. Bonner's Pocket Map of the State of Georgia was published in Milledgeville in 1851. Bonner was a civil engineer who published a series of pocket maps in the mid-nineteenth century.

Eliza Ann Grier

Eliza Ann Grier

Eliza Ann Grier was the first African American woman licensed to practice medicine in the state of Georgia. After her graduation in 1897 from the Woman's Medical College in Pennsylvania (later part of Drexel University College of Medicine), she practiced in Atlanta for a few years.

Image from National Library of Medicine

Henry Rutherford Butler

Henry Rutherford Butler

Henry Rutherford Butler, pictured circa 1883, was a prominent physician and pharmacist on Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Avenue in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His wife, Selena Sloan Butler, was a well-known education advocate in the city.

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

Henry Rutherford Butler

Henry Rutherford Butler

Henry Rutherford Butler, a pioneer in medicine and health care for African Americans, served in 1891 as surgeon of the Second Georgia Battalion, Colored Volunteers, with the rank of first lieutenant. That same year Rutherford began his medical practice on Atlanta's Wheat Street (later Auburn Avenue).

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

Thomas Heathe Slater

Thomas Heathe Slater

Thomas Heathe Slater (third row, far right) and Henry Rutherford Butler (top row, fourth from left) were classmates together at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating in 1890, they became the first African Americans to obtain a pharmacy license in Georgia. In 1891 the two opened a drugstore together in Atlanta and operated it for two decades.

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

Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel in Savannah is the oldest Jewish congregation in the South and the third oldest in the United States. The congregation was founded during the establishment of the colony in 1733, and the current temple building was completed in 1878.

Photograph by Mark Kortum 

Leila Denmark

Leila Denmark

Leila Denmark, a pediatrician in Alpharetta, examines a patient. Denmark opened her practice in 1931 and retired in 2001, at the age of 103, as the oldest practicing pediatrician in the nation. In addition to running her private practice, Denmark conducted research that led to the development of the pertussis (or whooping cough) vaccine.

Courtesy of Jack Tarver Library Special Collections, Mercer University

Malthus Ward Grave site

Malthus Ward Grave site

The Athens Garden Club installed a marker at the grave site of Malthus Ward, the first professor of natural history at the University of Georgia, in 1987. After leaving the university in 1842, Ward opened a commercial garden in Athens and founded the Horticultural Society of Georgia.

Photograph by LeAnna Biles Schooley

Malthus Ward Home

Malthus Ward Home

Trees planted by natural historian Malthus Ward during the 1830s still stand outside his former home on Dearing Street in Athens. During his tenure as a professor at the University of Georgia, Ward maintained a botanical garden on the property.

Photograph by LeAnna Biles Schooley

Robert B. Greenblatt

Robert B. Greenblatt

Robert B. Greenblatt, a native of Montreal, Canada, is credited with pioneering the discipline of endocrinology during his tenure at the Medical College of Georgia (later Georgia Health Sciences University) in Augusta, where he served as chair of the endocrinology department from 1946 to 1972.

Courtesy of Historical Collections and Archives, Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library, Georgia Health Sciences University

Robert B. Greenblatt

Robert B. Greenblatt

During World War II, noted endocrinologist Robert B. Greenblatt joined the U.S. Navy. During his service, Greenblatt studied the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

Courtesy of Historical Collections and Archives, Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library, Georgia Health Sciences University

Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library

Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library

In 1988 the library at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta was renamed in memory of Robert B. Greenblatt, the renowned endocrinologist who performed groundbreaking infertility research at the institution.

Photograph by Phil Jones, Georgia Health Sciences University

Savannah Pulp and Paper Laboratory

Savannah Pulp and Paper Laboratory

Charles Herty (seated, fourth from left) is pictured with staff members at his Savannah Pulp and Paper Laboratory, circa 1933. Herty founded the lab in 1931 to develop techniques for producing newsprint from southern pine trees.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ctm033.

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Charles H. Herty

Charles H. Herty

Charles Herty, a native of Milledgeville, was a renowned chemist known for his contributions to both the forestry and paper industries during his career. While a professor at the University of Georgia in the 1890s, Herty also established the university's athletic program.

Courtesy of Georgia Historical Society, Foltz Photography Studio (Savannah, Ga.), photographs, 1899-1960, #1360-25-10-14.

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Herty Field

Herty Field

University of Georgia students play baseball in 1893 at a field located on the northwest corner of campus. Charles Herty, a chemistry professor who was named director of the Department of Physical Culture at UGA in 1894, enlarged the field and built a grandstand in 1896. The site was later named Herty Field in his honor.

Herty’s Blanket Award

Herty’s Blanket Award

Charles Herty (far right) is honored as the "father of Georgia athletics" by the University of Georgia's Athletic Association, which presented him with a blanket award in 1934. Other UGA alumni honored on that day include George "Kid" Woodruff, a future Georgia coach (far left), and Sandy Beaver (center).

Foresty Industry Meeting

Foresty Industry Meeting

Charles Herty, an internationally recognized chemist from Georgia, meets in Savannah with leaders of the forestry and paper industries in the 1930s. Herty stands fourth from the left, and the philanthropist George Foster Peabody sits in the center.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ctm236.

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Hamilton Holmes

Hamilton Holmes

In 1961 Hamilton Holmes (center) became one of the first African American students to gain admission to the University of Georgia after a two-year legal battle, led in part by Donald Hollowell (left). Holmes's father, Alfred "Tup" Holmes (right), was an Atlanta businessman.

Hunter and Holmes, UGA

Hunter and Holmes, UGA

Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, the first Black students to enroll at the University of Georgia, are pictured here at the end of their first day on campus in January 1961.

Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the students who desegregated the University of Georgia in 1961, returned in 1992 to speak at the first annual Holmes-Hunter lecture. Holmes, a prominent orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta until his death in 1995, was named the first African American member of the university foundation's board of trustees in 1983.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

Louis Sullivan

Louis Sullivan

Dr. Louis Sullivan is pictured in one of Morehouse School of Medicine's research labs. He has been a national leader on African American health issues worldwide.

Lane Raspberry, Wikimedia Commons

Louis Sullivan

Louis Sullivan

Photograph of Louis Wade Sullivan at Spotlight Health Aspen Ideas Festival in 2015. Dr. Louis Sullivan was the founding president of Morehouse School of Medicine, the first minority medical school established in the United States in the twentieth century.

David Satcher

David Satcher

Dr. David Satcher was the thirteenth director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the sixteenth surgeon general of the United States.

Image from Wikimedia

David Satcher

David Satcher

Dr. David Satcher, then the U.S. Surgeon General, delivers the commencement address to Clark Atlanta University's class of 1999. Satcher's son was in the audience as a member of the graduating class.

Georgia Experiment Station

Georgia Experiment Station

A researcher at the Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin plows a field behind a three-mule team in 1900. Around this time, scientists at the station developed the deep furrow method of planting winter oats, a technique that saved millions of dollars for farmers in the South.

Courtesy of University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Crawford Long

Crawford Long

Crawford Long was a pioneering physician who is credited with discovering anesthesia.

Courtesy of Tina Harris, Crawford Long Museum

Crawford Long Stamp

Crawford Long Stamp

This 1940 US postage stamp features Dr. Crawford Long, the seventeenth-century physician from north Georgia credited with the discovery of anesthesia. 

Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Coca-Cola Bottles

Coca-Cola Bottles

A 1960 Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company store display. Coca-Cola drinks have appeared in a variety of bottle shapes and sizes over the years, settling finally into its distinctive "hobbleskirt" bottle in 1916.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Tracy O'Neal Photographic Collection, 1923-1975.

John Stith Pemberton

John Stith Pemberton

Georgia pharmacist John Stith Pemberton sold the first glass of his newly concocted drink in Atlanta's Jacobs Pharmacy in 1886. The drink would become world-famous as Coca-Cola.

Courtesy of Coca-Cola Museum

Pemberton House

Pemberton House

This Greek revival-style cottage, at 11 Seventh Street in Columbus, was occupied by John Stith Pemberton and his family, 1855-60. Pemberton, a druggist in Columbus and later Atlanta, was the originator of Coca-Cola. The apothecary, once the kitchen, houses unique Coke memorabilia.

Courtesy of Historic Columbus Foundation

Vin Mariani Bottle

Vin Mariani Bottle

John Stith Pemberton based "Pemberton's French Wine Coca," a drink that was very popular in Atlanta, on Vin Mariani, a French beverage formulated by Mariani & Company of Paris.

Image from Wikimedia

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Coca-Cola Logo

Coca-Cola Logo

The registered trademark of this multinational soft drink firm represents arguably the most widely recognized consumer product on the face of the earth.

Courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company Archives

G. Lombard Kelly

G. Lombard Kelly

Dr. G. Lombard Kelly served as dean and president of the Medical College of Georgia (later Georgia Health Sciences University) from the 1930s to the early 1950s. Kelly also wrote short stories, children's stories, and news articles, and he collaborated with other professionals on numerous medical papers.

Courtesy of George L. Kelly

Malaria Prevention

Malaria Prevention

A Stearman biplane sprays an insecticide during malaria control operations in Savannah.

Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services

Naomi Chapman Woodroof

Naomi Chapman Woodroof

In 1933 Naomi Chapman Woodroof was hired by the Coastal Plain Experiment Station (later University of Georgia Tifton campus) and assigned to a long-term research project on peanuts. Her research was a key component in transforming peanuts from a crop for hog feed to an essential food product.

Courtesy of Lawrence Akers

Naomi Chapman Woodroof

Naomi Chapman Woodroof

Agriculture pioneer Naomi Chapman Woodroof never sought fame or recognition, and it was not until after her death that she received both. The pavilion showcasing Georgia's agricultural products for visitors to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta was relocated to the campus of the Georgia Experiment Station and named the Naomi Chapman Woodroof Agricultural Pavilion.

Courtesy of Lawrence Akers

Bedspring Peanut Pickers

Bedspring Peanut Pickers

One of the many innovations introduced by Naomi Chapman Woodroof, an early pioneer in peanut research, was the use of bedsprings to separate peanuts from the plant during harvest. Woodroof worked at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station (later University of Georgia Tifton campus) from 1933 to 1967.

Courtesy of Jane Woodroof Akers

Henry Clay White

Henry Clay White

Though not a native Georgian, Henry Clay White spent most of his life in Athens, where he became a fixture of UGA's science program. He did much to advance the school's curriculum, even while making a name for himself in the international science community.

Jasper Guy Woodroof

Jasper Guy Woodroof

Clarence Birdseye (left), founder of Birdseye Frozen Foods, tastes products developed through the research efforts of Dr. Jasper Guy Woodroof (right) in 1940.

Courtesy of Lawrence Akers

Jasper Guy Woodroof

Jasper Guy Woodroof

Jasper Guy Woodroof, a pioneer in food science and technology and often called the "father of food science," made outstanding scientific and technical contributions to the food industry over the course of his professional career.

Courtesy of Lawrence Akers

Eugene Odum

Eugene Odum

In 1964, as president of the Ecological Society of America, Odum announced in the journal BioScience the establishment of a "new ecology," a "systems ecology" that dealt with the world as a whole, bringing all of the ecosystem sciences together.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

Eugene Odum

Eugene Odum

Odum, called "the father of modern ecology," brought the word into common parlance by making it the organizing concept in his 1953 Fundamentals of Ecology.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

Eugene Odum

Eugene Odum

Odum was instrumental in the founding of the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, and the Institute of Ecology, which was later renamed in his honor.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

Eugene Odum

Eugene Odum

Odum's work with a student-driven Save Our Marshes Committee from the University of Georgia helped educate Georgia citizens about the economic value of the wetlands to the state, effectively persuading the Georgia legislature to pass the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

Odum School of Ecology

Odum School of Ecology

The Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology is the primary academic unit for ecological research and teaching at the University of Georgia.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services. Photograph by Paul Efland

Eugene Odum

Eugene Odum

Odum joined the Department of Zoology at the University of Georgia in the fall of 1940. He retired in 1984, leaving his position as director of the Institute of Ecology, Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor of Zoology, and Callaway Professor of Ecology.

Eugene Odum: Coral Reefs

Odum, the "father of modern ecology" discusses the unusual organization and sustainability of the coral reef.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia