April 3, 1936: The Atlanta Kennel Club opened its doors in the spacious Lullwater Building on West Peachtree. The club, organized in December 1899, was for breeders of purebred dogs in the Atlanta vicinity. The club is still thriving today.
April 10, 1890: Priced at $13,500, the two and seventh-eight acres tract between Butler, Pratt, College and Jenkins streets was the original site selected for the new Grady Hospital. L.P. Grant, the owner, of the property, donated $1,000 from the purchase price to the hospital fund. Massachusetts Architect E. C. Gardner said his preliminary drawings for the administrative building were in the Tuscan style. In December the cornerstone was laid in a Masonic ceremony.
April 23, 1913: The Atlanta Federal Penitentiary was the venue for Enrico Caruso’s private performance for hundreds of inmates. The Metropolitan Opera’s legendary Italian tenor was headquartered at the Georgian Terrace Hotel during the city’s 1913 opera season. Accompanying Caruso was his friend baseball hero Ty Cobb. Caruso sang “O Paradiso,” from Meyerbeer’s “L’Africaine”; Tosti’s ballad, “Idealle,” and “Ridi Pagliacci.” Convict # 4435 Julian Hawthorne, the son of writer Nathaniel, hosted the Wednesday afternoon event. He was serving time for mail fraud.
April 15, 1912: Pike County native Jacques “Jack” Futrelle met his tragic but noble death on the Titanic. He married his Atlanta sweetheart Lillie May Peel Futrelle in the city’s Fourth Ward on July 17, 1895. Rescued by the Carpathia, May lived until 1967. She begged Jack to get into one of the lifeboats, later recalling their last moments. “Hurry up, May. You’re keeping the others waiting,” he said. “You have two children, May, go to them.” For over 100 years, a bronze memorial plaque to Jacques Futrelle has hung on the walls of the Capital City Club.
April 18, 1912: Officers of the Atlanta Woman’s Club met at the Georgian Terrace Hotel with other representatives of the Atlanta Federation of Women’s Clubs. The purpose was to express sympathy and offer financial aid to survivors of the ill-fated Titanic. A new book entitled A Light on Peachtree: A History of the Atlanta Woman’s Club documents the role and rise of these “gentlewomen” in the development and identity of Atlanta from 1895 through its present-day philanthropic contributions. Copies of the book may be pre-ordered from Mercer University Press and Amazon.com. The book will be introduced and offered for sale at the Atlanta Woman’s Club’s Annual Spring Tea and Open House on Sunday, April 15, 2-5 p.m., and author Anne B. Jones and photographer Aryc W. Mosher will be available for signings.
April 28, 1970: David Merrick’s Broadway musical Hello Dolly with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman opened at the Atlanta Civic Center. Tony Award winner Pearl Bailey played the leading role as Dolly Levi in the all-black version co-starring Cab Calloway as Horace Vandergilder. Calloway began gracing the old Atlanta Auditorium stage back in the 1930s and 1940s. Gower Champion directed and choreographed the production.