The three centuries of Georgia are a vibrant mix of adventure, action, patriotism, struggles and achievements. Bouncing back has been the mantra of the people with a myriad of passion including music and sports.
When the city of Atlanta hosted the Centennial Summer Olympics in 1996, it captured global attention and investment, and has been progressing since then without a turn back.
The gorgeous Georgia facts are some interesting tidbits covering a wide range of topics for the busy high-schoolers.
Georgia Facts: Colonial Times | 1 – 5
01. The colony of Georgia and the city of Savannah with a grid of streets and public squares were founded on utopian ideals by James Oglethorpe after landing at the New World on February 12, 1733.
02. While serving in the Prison Discipline Committee, the idea to create a colony of released debtors and unemployed in the New World dawned, that later included persecuted minorities like Lutherans and Jews.
03. The charter created was granted all land between the Altamaha and Savannah Rivers and from the headwaters of these rivers to the “south seas” to also provide military buffer between Spanish Florida and English South Carolina.
04. Landing at present-day Savannah, Oglethorpe secured it from Mico Tomochichi, Yamacraw chief of the local Creek Indians, made peace treaties, respected their customs and maintained good trade relationships with them.
05. The settlers were given identical houses to live, 50 acres limited land to own and work; slavery was banned and hard liquor was banned too.
(Oglethorpe’s colonization of Georgia was peaceful and diplomatic through the support of Tomochichi so much so that he could be called the co-founder!)
Georgia Facts: Revolutionary Period | 6 – 10
06. Oglethorpe’s plans did not flourish and the colony remained sparsely populated; the charter was given up and Georgia became a crown colony in 1752.
07. After local governance strengthened and interactions with other colonies improved, Georgia was one of the thirteen original colonies that signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
08. The British left Savannah on July 11, 1782 after their defeat in the Revolutionary War and Georgia became a state on January 2, 1788.
09. Georgia seceded from the Union in 1861 and later rejoined in 1870 after significant military actions and a period of unrest due to the Civil war.
10. Between the Reconstruction period from 1865-77, Georgia re-established itself as a functional state.
Georgia Facts: Twentieth Century & Beyond | 11 – 15
11. The Great Depression affected the cities and countryside of Georgia alike, and President’s Roosevelt’s sincere efforts did not help much.
12. Aviation was the new found business in the early 1940s after the sufferings of the Great Depression, and Atlanta’s Airport bustled with activity.
13. By the end of the twentieth century, Georgia was spotted with many more corporates like CNN, Coca Cola, The Home Depot, etc.
14. Georgia’s global image grew when Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympic Games; two million visitors thronged the city and an estimated three and a half billion viewers watched on TV.
15. Georgia was the ninth largest economy in the United States with GDP $461.1 billion dollars in 2016 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Georgia Facts: Civil Rights Movement | 16 -20
16. Civil Rights Movement was part of the modern history when Black Georgians fought against racial discrimination through mass demonstrations, strikes, legal battles, etc.
17. During the 1920s, the Georgian African Americans supported the Back to Africa Movement and they also started their own schools, churches and social institutions.
18. In 1954, the US Supreme Court declared that segregation of public schools in Georgia and other Southern states was unconstitutional.
19. In 1970, Georgia’s largest riot took place in Augusta proving that the passing of Federal Civil Rights Legislation in 1964 and 1965 had not concluded the civil rights struggle.
20. The latest largest civil rights demonstrations happened on January 24, 1987 in Forsyth county that captured national attention.
Georgia Facts: Martin Luther King Jr. | 21-25
21. Nobel Laureate Martin Luther King Jr., the charismatic African American leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s was born at the ‘Sweet Auburn’ area, Atlanta.
22. King’s father initially opposed his marriage to Coretta Scott, preferring an Atlantan daughter-in-law but later solemnized their marriage at her family home in Alabama.
23. King rose to prominence due to his involvement in bus boycott protests, Montgomery Improvement Association’s (MIA) lawsuit and the resultant abolition of segregation in 1956.
24. In 1957, he launched the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) at Atlanta and employed non-violence campaigns influenced by Indian Independence leader Mohandas Gandhi.
25. King addressed the fundamental poverty problem in later years and before one such campaign in Washington, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.
Georgia Facts: General Info | 26 – 30
26. According to July 1, 2018 estimates, Georgia has a population of 10,519,475 (ranking eighth in US) housed in a land area of 57,513.49 square miles.
27. The major cities are Atlanta (capital), Augusta, Columbus, Savannah and Athens.
28. It is bordered by Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean.
29. Georgia’s Median Household Income is $52,977 according to the American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates 2013-2017.
30. Georgia is the 24th largest state with 159 counties (ranking second in US).
Georgia Facts: Nicknames | 31 – 35
31. Its size and impressive economic growth earned Georgia the name, ‘Empire State of the South’ though source of income had differed from time to time.
32. The Georgia state producing nearly half the peanut of the US is called the ‘Goober State.’ It was President Jimmy Carter’s family business too.
33. As early laws protected the buzzards; it was also called the ‘Buzzard State.’
34. Georgia is called the Peach State, for its choicest quality of peaches but in 2017, it ranked only third in production after California and South Carolina.
35. Capital and largest city Atlanta that serves as the financial hub and railroad center of the Southeast has a downtown area named ‘Wall Street of the South.’
Georgia Facts: First & Best | 35 – 40
35. Rebecca Latimer Felton was the first woman to serve in the US Senate; she is also the only woman from the state of Georgia still.
36. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River and its Vidalia onions are considered to be the sweetest in the world.
37. The Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia has the world’s largest contiguous college campus and was founded by Martha Berry with the help of her former students.
38. As port of entry into North America and a connecting hub, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the busiest passenger airport in the world for 21 consecutive years.
39. The Varsity housed on two acres in Downtown Atlanta is the world’s largest drive-in restaurant that could accommodate 600 cars and more than 800 people inside.
40. ‘Georgia on My Mind’ won Ray Charles four Grammys and was declared the state song of Georgia in 1979.
Georgia Facts: Seven Natural Wonders | 41 – 50
41. Georgia has six natural wonders that were formed in geological times ~60 million years ago and another within 150 years caused by erosion through human activity.
42. Meaning ‘tumbling waters’ the Amicalola Falls near Dawsonville is Georgia’s highest waterfall and Okefenokee Swamp is North America’s largest swamp.
43. Gushing at 70,000 gallons/minute, the Radium Springs is the largest natural spring while the Stone Mountain is the largest exposed mass of granite in the world.
44. The other wonders are the 1,200 feet deep canyon, Tallulah Gorge and the Warm Springs with its healing powers, patronized by President Roosevelt.
45. When erosion caused 100 feet deep multi-colored gorges over a thousand acres near Lumpkin, the Providence Canyon was born, also called ‘Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.’
Georgia Facts: Stone Mountain | 46 – 50
51. Stone Mountain, the dome shaped exposed piece of granite, located 10 miles from downtown Atlanta is famous both as a natural wonder and a work of art.
52. The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo built with the original granite of Stone Mountain was one of the buildings that withstood the powerful earthquake of 1923.
53. The carved surface of three acres depicts three Confederate Southern Generals, Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson on their horses.
54. Measuring 90 feet tall, 190 feet wide and 11 feet deep, the carving of Lee is as tall as a nine-story building and Davis’ thumb, the size of a sofa.
55. Drawing four million visitors every year, the Stone Mountain performs the longest running laser show in the world for 25 years – The Laser Show Spectacular.
(In his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech made on August 28, 1963; Martin Luther King Jr uttered ‘”Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”)
Georgia Facts: 1996 Centennial Olympic Games | 56 – 60
56. Atlanta hosted the 100th Anniversary Modern Olympics between July 19 and August 4, 1996 selected over Athens, Belgrade, Manchester, Melbourne and Toronto.
57. In 1987, former football player and attorney Billy Payne put forward Olympic idea that was worked out by Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young banking on its Southern hospitality.
58. 10,320 athletes participated from 197 countries in 271 events, that included debuts like women’s soccer, beach volleyball, lightweight rowing, women’s softball and mountain biking.
59. For the first time, the cost of about $ 1.7 billion was met through corporate sponsors, ticket sales and television rights against government financial support.
60. To mark the tenth anniversary of the event, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum was opened at the Atlanta History Center in July 2006.
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Georgia Facts: Fun Facts | 61 – 65
61. James Oglethorpe led the ‘War of Jenkins’ Ear’ against Spanish Florida, when the Briton Robert Jenkins’ ear was cut by the Spanish.
62. License could be suspended if a funeral director used foul language in the presence of the deceased.
63. The chickens and other fowl are prohibited to cross the road as per the City Ordinance in Quitman, Georgia.
64. Rebecca Latimer Felton served in the US Senate for only one day; she was the oldest freshman Senator at 87 years, nine months and 22 days old.
65. Georgia has had five state capitals – Savannah (1777-1785), Augusta (1786-1789), Louisville (1789-1807), Milledgeville (1807-1867) and Atlanta (1868-current).
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Georgia Facts: Fun Facts | 66 – 70
66. In 1916, when Georgia Tech beat Cumberland 222-0, it was the most lopsided game in college football history.
67. When Georgia Tech played at home, the Varsity restaurant produced two miles of hot dogs, 2500 pounds of potatoes, 5000 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili.
68. In the early 1800s, Professor William Jackson deeded a tree, an eight-foot radius land and itself, which is continued by another tree from the original’s acorn since ‘40s.
69. Many people searched the Blackbeard Island, Georgia assuming that pirate Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach supposedly buried his booty there.
70. At 1,683 feet, freshwater shrimps are found at the depressions in the top of the Stone Mountain.
Georgia Facts: Trivia | 71 – 75
71. The Atlanta city’s symbol is Phoenix, as it raised with only 400 remnant structures, after it was burned down by General Sherman in 1864 during the Civil war.
72. Georgia’s Cumberland Island is inhabited by a herd of non-native feral horses that are unattended by men.
73. Tallapoosa, Georgia celebrates ‘Possum Drop’ every New Year’s Eve when the stuffed opossum Spencer is lowered from one of the city’s oldest buildings along with fireworks, live music, and the crowing of Possum King and Queen.
74. Ashburn, Georgia has a giant replica of the peanut seated on a yellow crown.
75. In 1830, the Georgia Gold Rush saw as many as 10,000 miners and explorers from all over the world converge in the Lumpkin county.
Georgia Facts: Trivia | 76 – 80
76. To participate in the yearly ‘Peachtree Road Race’ held during fourth July weekend, one has to win entry through a lottery system.
77. The 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, Georgia; he was also the 76th Governor of Georgia.
78. Georgia boasts professional sports teams like Atlanta Braves – MLB (Baseball), Atlanta Falcons – NFL (Football) and Atlanta Hawks – NBA (Basketball).
79. Marbles from Georgia were used in the capitols of many states and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
80. Ancient Atlanta was home to the Creek and Cherokee Indian villages and now it has more than 70 roads with the name ‘Peachtree.’