May 5, 1993: Atlanta native Gladys Knight – singer, songwriter and actress – emceed the Kids’ Celebration, a free concert at the Omni sponsored by the Atlanta Project Immunization Children’s Health Initiative. The special guest for the evening dressed in black, donning a wide-brim hat and shades was Michael Jackson. After his introductory walk on stage, he took a front seat and remained in the audience for two 75-minute shows. Knight called to the stage former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, Gov. Zell Miller and Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, noted hip-hop trio TLC and a host of other performers. Kids’ Celebration was an effort for the immunization of 17,000 Atlanta children in five days.
May 10, 1902: The Southern Architect and Building News recognized Atlanta’s Henrietta “Harry” Cuttino Dozier (1872-1947), pictured, as one of the few women practicing architecture in the United States. Atlanta’s first female architect, a Florida native, arrived in the city in 1874, when she was 18 months old, accompanied by a widowed mother, brother and sister. While attending Crew Street Elementary School, Henrietta used her preferred lifetime name “Harry.” After graduating from Girls’ High in 1891, she enrolled in New York’s Pratt Institute for a two-year beaux-arts curriculum. In 1899, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. The Southern Architect and Building News also noted that she not only created plans, but supervised the construction. Dozier once said that most of her designs were for the Episcopal Church, architectural plans authorized by Bishop Cleland Kinlock Nelson. In 1905, she qualified as a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the following year was a founding member of the Atlanta AIA Chapter. She considered her best work in Atlanta the Southern Ruralist Building, located at Hunter and Washington streets.
May 13, 1905: Atlanta Terminal Station opened on the northwest corner of Mitchell and Madison Avenue (now Spring Street). It accommodated the trains of six large railroads. Architect Philip Thornton Marye, a North Carolina native designed the complex’s concrete façade with Renaissance Revival arcades. The Terminal closed in June 1970 and was demolished in 1972. The Richard B. Russell Federal Building opened on the site in 1980.
May 17, 1939: Friends and family gathered at Ponce de Leon Avenue’s Druid Hills Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Walter Gerald Cooper. The Georgian native born in 1860 was a journalist, historian, civic and religious leader. As promotional chief for Atlanta’s 1895 Cotton States exhibition, Cooper’s worldwide-publicity generated tourism and stimulated future Spanish American enterprise in Atlanta. From 1902 to 1919, he was the secretary of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. The publication of his 918-page Official History of Fulton County was celebrated at Rhodes Memorial Hall, then the State of Georgia Archives, today’s Georgia Trust for Historic preservation. His burial site is Westview Cemetery.
May 18, 1996: Morehouse School of Medicine dedicated a bronze statue, The Doctor, by sculptor Edward Dwight, Jr. The unveiling commemorated the 100th anniversary of the National Medical Association, a professional African-American organization with more than 130 chapters.
May 22, 1932: New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a commencement address to the graduates of Oglethorpe University in the Fox Theatre. His closing words were, “We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you.”
May 23, 1908: Ponce De Leon Amusement Park celebrated its summer opening with a tacky party on roller-skates and music. Eligible contestants wore chintzy costumes to qualify for one of the three sessions that Saturday evening in Ponce’s St. Nicholas Rink Auditorium. Fifty dollars was divided among the prize-winners for the tackiest costume. The first place winners for tackiest man and tackiest woman each received $15. The amusement park eventually became the site of Sears & Roebuck, which is now known at Ponce City Market.