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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.

Henry L. Benning

Henry L. Benning

Henry L. Benning was an influential advocate for secession and helped to draft Georgia's Ordinance of Secession. 

Henry L. Benning

Henry L. Benning

Henry L. Benning served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia during the 1850s and as a brigadier general during the Civil War. Fort Benning, near Columbus, is named in his honor.

Fort Benning

Fort Benning

Fort Benning, home of the U.S. Army Infantry, comprises nearly 120,000 acres in Chattahoochee County.

Courtesy of Fort Benning

Court of Appeals Motto

Court of Appeals Motto

The motto of the Court of Appeals of Georgia was engraved into the wall of its former courtroom in the State Judicial Building in Atlanta. Fifteen judges serve on the Court of Appeals, which was established in 1906 to ease the caseload of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Photograph by S. Sean Barrett

Leah Ward Sears

Leah Ward Sears

Leah Ward Sears, the first woman and youngest justice to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia, served as chief justice from 2005 to 2009.

Department of Labor

Department of Labor

The central office of the Georgia Department of Labor is pictured in 2008 at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Andrew Young International Boulevard in Atlanta. The Department of Labor, created in 1937, provides workforce and vocational rehabilitation services, in addition to overseeing workplace safety programs and gathering labor and occupational statistics in Georgia.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Labor

Mark Butler

Mark Butler

Mark Butler, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Labor, was elected in 2010.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Labor

Valdosta Career Center

Valdosta Career Center

The Valdosta Career Center, pictured circa 2008, is one of fifty-three career centers administered by the Georgia Department of Labor. These career centers, which aim to assist Georgia workers through training, educational resources, and financial support, replace traditional unemployment offices in the state.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Labor

Athens Career Center

Athens Career Center

The Athens Career Center, pictured circa 2008, provides computers and other resources to job seekers in the Clarke County area. The center is administered by the Georgia Department of Labor.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Labor

Michael L. Thurmond

Michael L. Thurmond

Michael L. Thurmond, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Labor, was elected in 1998 and served until 2011.

Courtesy of Dekalb County

Public Education

Public Education

Students in a Camden County public school participate in class. The Georgia Department of Education oversees all public schools in the state, ensuring that federal and state guidelines are met and administering a variety of programs, including the Migrant Education Program and the Georgia Virtual School.

Courtesy John La Boone

Color photograph of Richard Woods

Superintendent Richard Woods

Richard Woods has served as state school superintendent since 2015.

General Assembly

General Assembly

Presiding over the 2005 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly, Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson prepares to adjourn the meeting with a strike of his gavel. The Assembly is made up of two chambers—the senate and the house of representatives—and is one of the largest state legislatures in the nation.

Monticello Crossroads Scenic Byway

Monticello Crossroads Scenic Byway

The Department of Transportation established the Scenic Byways program to protect or enhance the character and appeal of designated roads. The Monticello Crossroads in Jasper County is one of seven such corridors in the state.

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.

Savannah Meeting Place

Savannah Meeting Place

Although the precise locations of state legislature meetings in Savannah are not known, this building may have served as one meeting place for the assembly. From 1777 to 1784, Savannah served as the state capital on a rotating basis with Augusta.

Yazoo Act Burning

Yazoo Act Burning

The burning of the Yazoo Act, which resulted in the Yazoo land fraud of 1795, took place on the grounds of the capitol building in Louisville. Louisville served as the state capital from 1796 until 1806, when the legislature moved to Milledgeville.

State Capitol at Milledgeville

State Capitol at Milledgeville

The state capitol in Milledgeville, pictured circa 1850, housed the General Assembly from 1807 until 1868 and was the site of the state's secession convention in 1861. Known today as the "Old Capitol Building," the structure currently houses Georgia Military College and the Antebellum Capitol Museum.

Old Atlanta City Hall

Old Atlanta City Hall

The old Atlanta City Hall, shown here in 1864, served as the first state capitol building in the city during the last half of 1868. Today the current capitol building stands on the site of the old city hall, on a hill in downtown Atlanta.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Kimball Opera House

Kimball Opera House

The Kimball Opera House housed the state legislature in Atlanta from 1869 until 1889. Constructed by brothers Edwin N. Kimball and H. I. Kimball, the building was purchased by the state in 1870.

Miss Freedom

Miss Freedom

Originally christened the "Goddess of Liberty," the statue atop the capitol dome in Atanta is now referred to as "Miss Freedom." The statue, made of copper sheets over a hollow frame, stands at just over 26 feet and weighs 1,600 pounds.

Old Atlanta City Hall

Old Atlanta City Hall

Built in 1854, this two-story building served briefly as the home to three governments when it housed the General Assembly, Atlanta City Hall, and Fulton County Courthouse beginning in July 1868. In January 1869, the legislature moved to the Kimball Opera House, where it remained until 1889.

Georgia State Capitol

Georgia State Capitol

The state capitol building, completed in 1889, features a cornerstone, interior floor and steps, and many walls made of Georgia marble. Marble mined in the state was also used to construct 60 percent of the monuments and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Capitol Cornerstone

Capitol Cornerstone

Between 6,000 and 10,000 people gathered in Atlanta on September 2, 1885, to watch the setting of the marble cornerstone for the new state capitol. Final construction on the building took place in March 1889, and the capitol was dedicated a few months later on the Fourth of July.

Georgia State Capitol

Georgia State Capitol

The state capitol of Georgia, built in Atlanta in 1889, is pictured before the application of gold to the dome in 1959.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ful0092.

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Georgia State Capitol

Georgia State Capitol

Georgia's gold-domed state capitol, built on a hill in downtown Atlanta, was completed in 1889. At approximately 272 feet from the ground floor, the building was the tallest in the city at the time of its construction and today is the third tallest capitol in the South.

Photograph by Jim Everson, DVM

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Capitol Dome

Capitol Dome

Residents of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County, the site of Georgia's gold rush in 1829, donated twenty ounces of gold in 1958 to cover the state capitol dome in Atlanta. The dome was regilded about twenty years later and today is maintained on an ongoing basis.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Wagon Train to Capitol

Wagon Train to Capitol

In 1979, during a fund-raising effort to regild the state capitol dome, a wagon train crossed the state, visiting each of Georgia's former capitals. In November the wagons arrived in downtown Atlanta with their cargo of gold. The train was protected by a mounted escort from the Fulton County sheriff's department.

Capitol Complex Plan

Capitol Complex Plan

In 1974 a master plan for the state capitol complex in downtown Atlanta was completed. Although Twin Towers Office Building was built in the early 1980s, no other construction on the complex has yet taken place.

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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Griffin Bell

Griffin Bell

Griffin Bell, left, with hand raised, is sworn in as U.S. attorney general under President Jimmy Carter (far left) in January 1977. In 1962 Bell headed a judicial panel that ruled Georgia's county unit system of voting to be in violation of the "one man, one vote" principle. His decision forced the change of a system that had been in place since 1917 and had given disproportionate voting power to rural counties.

Photograph from the National Archives and Records Administration

Distribution of Votes in the County Unit System

Distribution of Votes in the County Unit System

Under the county unit system, in effect from 1917 to 1962, a total of 410 unit votes were distributed among Georgia counties based on their designation as rural, town, or urban counties. Rural counties, in total, had 242 votes in primary elections, while town counties had 120, and urban counties had 48. Rural counties enjoyed 59 percent of the primary votes under this system, although by 1960 only 32 percent of the state's population lived in rural counties.

Courtesy of Chris Dobbs

Old Governor’s Mansion

Old Governor’s Mansion

A small crowd is gathered outside the Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville around 1880. The open brick fence is noteworthy. The state's governors resided here from 1838 to 1868.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #bal019.

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John Adam Treutlen

John Adam Treutlen

John Treutlen was a leader in Georgia during the American Revolution and helped to write Georgia's first constitution. In 1777 he became Georgia's first elected governor.

Image from Internet Archive Book Images

Carl Sanders

Carl Sanders

Carl Sanders is best remembered as Georgia's first New South governor, a Democrat who provided progressive leadership for the state from 1963 to 1967.

George Busbee

George Busbee

George Busbee began his political career in 1956 by winning a seat in the Georgia legislature. Intending to serve only two years, he wound up serving eighteen years in the Georgia House of Representatives and eight years as governor before retiring from politics in 1983.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Georgia State Capitol

Georgia State Capitol

Georgia's state capitol, home of the Georgia General Assembly, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. Since 1993 the nineteenth-century structure has been undergoing a total restoration, from the dome and pinnacle to the marble floors and interior lighting.

Old State Capitol

Old State Capitol

In December 1804 Milledgeville was declared by the legislature to be the new capital of Georgia. The pointed arched windows and battlements marked Milledgeville's capitol building as America's first public building in the Gothic revival style.

Photograph by Jimmy Emerson, DVM 

Glenn Richardson

Glenn Richardson

Glenn Richardson, a native of Douglas County, was selected as Speaker of the House in 2005, becoming the first Republican to hold that office in Georgia. In 2008 he was selected to continue in the office. A graduate of Georgia State University, Richardson was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1996.

Photograph from Georgia House of Representatives

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy

Democrat Tom Murphy was the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives for twenty-eight years, the longest tenure for a Speaker in any state legislature.

Robert Benham

Robert Benham

Robert Benham, the first African American chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, delivers the keynote address at the 2004 Georgia Excellence in Public Service Awards.

Lumpkin Law School

Lumpkin Law School

Lumpkin Law School in Athens, pictured circa 1920, was located at the corner of Broad and Lumpkin streets. Known today as the University of Georgia School of Law, the school was founded in 1859. The building, no longer standing, was also known as the Elks Home and the Athenian Club.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
clr088.

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Cox Communications

Cox Communications

An employee of Cox Communications, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, installs telecommunications wire. The nation's third-largest cable company in 2006, Cox Communications offers multiservice broadband communications to 6.7 million customers around the nation.

Courtesy of Cox Communications

Old Governor’s Mansion

Old Governor’s Mansion

The Old Governor's Mansion is located in Milledgeville, the state's capital from 1807 to 1868. Construction on the mansion began in 1836 and was completed in 1838 or 1839. It is considered one of the finest examples of Greek revival style in the nation.

Courtesy of Georgia College and State University

Lockheed Martin Employees

Lockheed Martin Employees

Workers at the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, pictured in 2003, paint a Lockheed C-130J. In 2000 the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (or ICAPP), a program of the University System of Georgia, partnered with the plant to train eighty new Lockheed employees at Southern Polytechnic State University (later Kennesaw State University).

Judicial Building

Judicial Building

The Judicial Building in Atlanta houses the Supreme Court of Georgia, as well as the Court of Appeals and the Attorney General's office.

Courtesy of the Supreme Court of Georgia

Atlanta State Farmers Market

Atlanta State Farmers Market

One of the largest markets in the world, the Atlanta State Farmers Market covers 150 acres and offers consumers the opportunity to buy directly from farm producers. The market opened in Forest Park in 1959 and features a nursery with indoor and outdoor plants, restaurant, gift shop, and welcome center.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Department of Agriculture

Front facade of the Georgia Department of Agriculture building on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in downtown Atlanta. The department is the state's oldest independent executive agency.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Agriculture

Tifton Chemical Lab

Tifton Chemical Lab

The Feed and Fertilizer Laboratories and the Pesticide Formulation, Soil Termiticide, Treated Wood, Use/Misuse, and Groundwater Laboratories of the Georgia Department of Agriculture are located in Tifton. The Food Microbiology and Dairy Laboratories and the Food Chemistry and Pesticide Residue Laboratories are in Atlanta.

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Agriculture

Peanuts

Peanuts

Peanuts were selected as the official state crop by the General Assembly in 1995. Nearly 50 percent of the total U.S. peanut crop is harvested in Georgia, which leads the nation in peanut exports.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Commercial Production

Commercial Production

A film crew shoots a commercial for Georgia tourism at Stone Mountain in 2006. Commercial production increased dramatically in the state during the first years of the twenty-first century, with such major corporations as Coca-Cola, Delta, Ford Motor Company, and General Electric choosing to film in Georgia.

U.S. Constitution

U.S. Constitution

The holdings of the Georgia Historical Society include a copy of the U.S. Constitution belonging to Abraham Baldwin, one of the Georgians to sign the document. The society is home to the oldest collection of the state's historical materials, which comprises more than 4 million manuscripts, 90,000 photographs, and 20,000 books, along with thousands of drawings, maps, portraits, and newspapers.

Savannah Port

Savannah Port

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. For most of its life, it has been the largest port in the region. In 2015 Savannah was the fourth busiest container port in the country. While the port has trafficked in cotton, enslaved people, and naval stores, today it primarily handles forest and solid wood products, steel, automobiles, and farm equipment.

William Bootle

William Bootle

William Bootle served as a U.S. District Court judge in Georgia from 1954 to 1981. His rulings upheld decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court in matters of school desegregation, including the desegregation of the University of Georgia in 1961.

Courtesy of Macon District Court

State Route 86

State Route 86

The Georgia Department of Transportation maintains the state's network of highways with proceeds from the state's motor fuel tax and other state and federal funds.

Photograph by Ken Lund 

Georgia Department of Transportation

Georgia Department of Transportation

Georgia Department of Transportation workers pave a road. The GDOT is responsible for planning, constructing, and maintaining Georgia's network of highways and bridges, among other transportation outlets.

Star-DOT

Star-DOT

Star-DOT provides statewide coverage of traffic conditions. The Star-DOT line, staffed by NaviGAtor operators and part-time staff, receives more than 950 calls per day from drivers who use the free service.

Courtesy of GDOT Transportation Management Center

Six Interstate Highways

Six Interstate Highways

Six interstate highways (I-20, I-75, I-85, I-285, I-575, and I-675) help metropolitan Atlanta residents get where they need to go.

Photography by Wikimedia

NaviGAtor Transportation System

NaviGAtor Transportation System

Message signs on urban highways perform average speed and distance calculations and operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The signs are part of the GDOT's NaviGAtor system.

Courtesy of GDOT Transportation Management Center

Incident Response Unit

Incident Response Unit

Incident response units (also known as HERO units) are specially trained personnel who can deal quickly with accidents and disabled vehicles.

Photograph by Kevin Trotman

DeKalb Peachtree Airport

DeKalb Peachtree Airport

DeKalb Peachtree Airport occupies the original site of Naval Air Station Atlanta, which operated from 1942 to 1959. This aerial view was taken shortly after control was returned from the navy to the county.

Courtesy of Paul Stephen Hudson

Savannah Port

Savannah Port

One of the busiest ports on the East Coast of the United States, Savannah handles approximately 80 percent of the shipborne cargo entering Georgia.

Photograph by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Transportation Management Center

Transportation Management Center

The Transportation Management Center is located in the Wayne Shackelford building, which serves as headquarters of NaviGAtor. The TMC is located five miles from downtown Atlanta, adjacent to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the state patrol.

Courtesy of GDOT Transportation Management Center

Geoff Duncan Georgia Lieutenant Governor

Geoff Duncan

Geoff Duncan was elected lieutenant governor of Georgia in November 2018. 

Image from Georgia.gov

Casey Cagle

Casey Cagle

Casey Cagle, a native of Hall County, was elected to the office of lieutenant governor in 2006, thereby becoming the first Republican lieutenant governor in Georgia's history. He served from 2007 to 2019. Cagle was also a member of the state senate from 1994 to 2006.

Photograph from Georgia.gov

Zell Miller

Zell Miller

Zell Miller was elected governor of Georgia in 1990 and was reelected in 1994. He served as U.S. Senator from 2000 to 2005.

Photograph by Wikimedia

Marvin Griffin

Marvin Griffin

Marvin Griffin, governor of Georgia from 1955 to 1959, ran for office on a staunch segregationist platform. Before being elected governor Griffin served as the state's first lieutenant governor.

Governor’s Mansion

Governor’s Mansion

The Governor's Mansion, completed in 1967, was designed in the Greek revival style by Atlanta architect A. Thomas Bradbury. The thirty-room home, located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, was first occupied by Governor Lester Maddox.

Photograph from Georgia.gov

Georgia State Capitol

Georgia State Capitol

The secretary of state's offices are housed at the state capitol in Atlanta. The secretary of state provides educational programs about the capitol and oversees the capitol museum.

Brad Raffensperger Georgia Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger

Brad Raffensperger was elected secretary of state of Georgia in December 2018.

Image from Georgia.gov

Trout Fishing

Trout Fishing

Fishing for trout in Dawson County. Several wild species are found in north Georgia: rainbow, brook, and brown trout.

Chris Carr

Chris Carr

Chris Carr was appointed as the attorney general of Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal in 2016.

Photograph from Georgia.gov

Sam Olens

Sam Olens

Sam Olens was elected to office as attorney general in 2010. He served until 2016, when he became president of Kennesaw State University.

Courtesy of Georgia.gov

Thurbert Baker

Thurbert Baker

Thurbert Baker served as attorney general of Georgia from his appointment to the office by Governor Zell Miller in 1997 until 2011. A native of North Carolina, Baker graduated from the law school at Emory University in 1979; he also served in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Photograph from www.thurbertbaker.com