The world premiere of "Gone With the Wind" was held in Atlanta on Dec. 15, 1939. (Courtesy PBS)
The world premiere of “Gone With the Wind” was held in Atlanta on Dec. 15, 1939. (Courtesy PBS)

By Ann Taylor Boutwell

Dec 1. 1977: Dr. Alonzo Crim, Atlanta’s first African American superintendent of schools, informed the Atlanta Public School Board that Georgia Tech had made a firm offer to purchase the O’Keefe Middle School. It was located at the corner of 6th Street and Techwood Drive. The original building, built as a junior high school, opened in October 1923. It sold at the end of 1977-78 school session, and Georgia Tech incorporated it as part of the college campus where it remains today.

Dec. 4, 1912: After a month’s delay, Dan Carey, Atlanta’s general manager of parks, received authorization for the $350 he requested to relocate the Erskine Memorial Fountain. A few days later, as Carey promised, it was placed in Grant Park, where it remains today. Honoring her late father, Mrs. Ruby Erskine Ward of New York commissioned New York sculptor John Massey Rhind to design the piece as a gift to Atlanta. It was originally located in Hardy Ivy Park at the junction of of Peachtree, Baker, and West Peachtree.

Dec. 9, 1971: The Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta was listed on National Register of Historic Places. The giant painting is currently located in Grant Park, but will move in 2017 to the Atlanta History Center campus in Buckhead.

Dec. 14, 1988: Mayor Andrew Young received a telegram from Paris, France. It read: Very deeply hope that the report is not true regarding your having granted permission to destroy the structure in which Margaret Mitchell wrote the great American classic Gone With the Wind. It would be a great credit to your administration if you were to assure the preservation of this landmark, which means so much to millions of people all over the world. The telegram was signed by Olivia de Havilland, who played Melanie in the film. The Margaret Mitchell House & Museum still stands today at the corner of 10th and Crescent in Midtown.

Dec. 15, 1939: Gone With the Wind had its world premiere at the Loew’s Grand Theatre in Downtown Atlanta.

Dec. 19, 1921: The high-class apartments at Parkview opened on the northwest corner of 14th Street and Piedmont Avenue in what is now known as Midtown. The three buildings had a scenic view of the entrance to Piedmont Park and the Peace Monument. J. S. Whisenat & Sons were the owners. An advertisement for the apartments noted it had 21 units ranging from three to six rooms each. Atlanta architect. E. C. Seiz designed the building in an “L” shape.

Dec. 24, 1908: Philanthropist Alice Dugged Carey held a Christmas dinner for the African American newsboys of the old Atlanta Georgian newspaper at Big Bethel Church on Auburn Avenue. Carey would host the dinner every year from 1908 to 1918 in an effort to “benefit her race.” Carey was an educator and excelled in pedagogy, literature, and economics attending Harvard University, Morris Brown College, and Wilberforce University.

Historian Ann Taylor Boutwell is a docent at the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum. Contact her at annboutwell@bellsouth.net.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.