May 3, 1948: Atlanta Journal reporter George Evans Goodwin, a Boys High and Washington and Lee University graduate, received the Pulitzer Prize for an expose of vote frauds in Telfair County in 1947. Goodwin became the first winner for a distinguished example of local reporting. Goodwin later became managing director of the Atlanta office of Manning, Selvage & Lee.
May 5, 2002: The new entrance to the Midtown MARTA Station opened on the north side of 10th Street next to the Federal Reserve Building. Construction cost $6.6 million, including $.5 million in federal funds.
May 6, 1928: Georgia’s school children, Women’s Clubs and the Atlanta Bird Club announced the results of a voting campaign that declared the brown thrasher Georgia’s favorite bird. The General Assembly, however, took no official action. When the urging voices of the Garden Clubs of Georgia finally caught the attention of the Georgia General Assembly in 1970, legislators unanimously passed Joint Resolution No. 128 making the thrasher Georgia’s official bird. Currently, the Georgia Conservancy is keeping a watchful eye on a new campaign that would replace the brown thrasher with the chicken. The Conservancy is urging Georgians to sign a petition on its Web site (www.georgiaconservancy.org) protesting any move to replace the thrasher with a chicken.
May 8, 1886: The first Coca-Cola fountain drink, a syrup formula created by local pharmacist John Stith Pemberton, was mixed with carbonated water, sampled, pronounced “excellent” and sold at Joseph Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta at Five Points on the corner of Peachtree and Marietta streets.
May 11, 1977: A crowd gathered on the steps of the Big Bethel A.M.E. Church to recognize the Sweet Auburn District as a National Historic Landmark. Featured speakers included Rev. William Holmes Borders, pastor Wheat Street Baptist Church; Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., former pastor Ebenezer Baptist Church; and Warren Cochran, Butler Street YMCA. Mayor Maynard Jackson, whose grandfather John Wesley Dobbs coined the “Sweet Auburn” name, received the plaque from Jerry Rogers of the National Park’s Service.
May 17, 1985: Morehouse School of Medicine celebrated its first decade of existence and awarded medical degrees to its first graduating class of 20 doctors. Barbara Bush, wife of then Vice President George Bush, delivered a message from President Ronald Regan.
May 27, 1956: Georgia native Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” topped the music charts.
May 29, 1915: The Queen Anne two-story mansion of Clarence Knowles on the southwest corner of Ponce de Leon and Piedmont avenues made way for the Ponce de Leon Methodist Episcopal Church. Moved 150 feet southward to front Piedmont Avenue, the beautiful residence was adapted into two apartments. The pastor, Rev. Clayton J. Yeisley resided on the upper level and the lower served as the congregation’s chapel, until the new church’s completion in 1916. Today the site is the home of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.
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