Sept. 5, 1897: Golfer Alexa Stirling Fraser, dubbed “The First Lady of East Lake,” was born in Atlanta. At 12, she won her first title at the Atlanta Athletic Club’s East Lake Golf course. Stirling captured her first U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1916. With the beginning of World War I, championship golf halted and she and 14-year-old Bobby Jones, two of the “Dixie Kids,” barnstormed in exhibition matches, raising $150,000 for the Red Cross. By October 1920, she was wearing the women’s national crown for the third consecutive time. She died April 15, 1977 at her home in Ottawa, Canada. Stirling Frazer was posthumously inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (1978); Canadian Golf Hall of Fame (1986); and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame (1989). In the 2004 film Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius she was portrayed by Stephanie Sparks.
Sept. 8, 1976: The Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) officially opened its doors as one of the nation’s premier convention facilities. The first trade show and convention in the 350,000-square-foot exhibit space was the American Apparel Association’s Bobbin Show. Over the years, GWCC underwent numerous expansions to meet the needs of growing conventions and special events. Today, the facility features 1.4 million square feet of exhibit space, making the GWCC one of the top five largest convention centers in the country. In April 1, 2010, Frank Poe took the helm as the new executive director of GWCC.
Sept. 11, 1985: The Atlanta Historical Society honored Dorothy Alexander, founder of the Atlanta Ballet. The gala featured the premiere of the film, A Dance Memoir for Dorothy Alexander, A Great Georgian. The Atlanta Ballet is the oldest continuous ballet in America and began receiving national recognition for its high artistic standards as early as 1933. Alexander, a pioneer of the regional dance movement in the United States, died of lung and bone cancer Nov. 17, 1986 at Crawford Long Hospital at the age of 82.
Sept. 14, 1885: The Atlanta City Council voted to extend the city limits to include Grant Park.
Sept. 17, 1884: The body of President Abraham Lincoln’s brother-in-law, Brigadier-General Ben Harden Helm, a Confederate soldier of the First Kentucky brigade, was exhumed from Oakland Cemetery and reburied in Elizabethtown, Ky. Helm’s wife, Emilie Todd Helm, daughter of the late Robert Todd, was a half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, the president’s wife. The 21-year-old was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.
Sept. 21, 1940: The Little Five Points Theater opened on Euclid Avenue, operated by Charles Mion and W. T. Murray. The double bill featured These Glamour Girls with Lana Turner and Lew Ayres and In Old Monterey with singing cowboy Gene Autrey. All proceeds were presented to the Inman Park Woman’s Club to build their new clubhouse.
Sept. 24, 1911: The eight-story Imperial Hotel opened at 355 Peachtree St (now the corner of Peachtree Center Avenue and Ralph McGill Boulevard). Local architect Edward H. Doherty designed the handsome concrete, brick, terra cotta, stone, tile and plaster structure. The Imperial closed its doors in 1980 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Considered an eyesore in the redeveloping downtown area, the building was finally renovated in 1996 to become the Imperial Hotel Apartments.