Tornado damage at Oakland Cemetery in March 2008. (Courtesy Oakland Cemetery)
Tornado damage at Oakland Cemetery in March 2008. (Courtesy Oakland Cemetery)

By Ann Taylor Boutwell

March 9, 1960: A group of Atlanta University Center students led by Julian Bond and Lonnie King released An Appeal for Human Rights as a full-page advertisement in the city’s daily newspapers. The appeal calls for civil rights for African-Americans and outlines the organizing of sit-ins to protest segregation around Atlanta. Known as the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights, the group began the Atlanta Student Movement and lead sit-ins at lunch counters and other locations starting on March 15 that same year.

March 12, 1925: Davison-Paxon merged with R.H. Macy and Company of New York. On March 21, 1927, the new store opened on Peachtree in the handsome $6 million building designed by Starrett and Van Vleck of New York and Hentz, Reid, and Adler of Atlanta. The landmark site next door to the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel is now known as events and office facility 200 Peachtree.

March 13, 1981: Timothy Hill, 13, was the last child killed during what is now known as the Atlanta Child Murders that galvanized the city from 1979 to 1981. Wayne Williams was eventually arrested and convicted in the murder of two adults, but was never convicted in the murder of any of the 23 children. Hill’s death by asphyxiation would be attributed to Williams and the case eventually closed.

March 14, 2008: More than 50 trees were toppled and dozens of headstones and obelisks were destroyed when a tornado struck Oakland Cemetery. The tornado damaged buildings as it tore through Downtown Atlanta, including blowing out windows in the Westin Peachtree Plaza and severely damaging the Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts across from the cemetery in Cabbagetown. It was the first tornado to hit Downtown area since weather record keeping began in the 1880s.

March 25, 1932: Changing the community of Buckhead’s name to something more highfalutin again became an issue. Six years earlier, a large group of Buckhead citizens petitioned the Fulton County Commissioner to change the name to “Northwood.” Luckily, the attempts to change the name all failed. Buckhead was created in1838, when South Carolinian Henry Irby and wife, Georgia native Sardis Walraven, bought and settled on 202-plus acres of land around the present Peachtree, Roswell and West Paces Ferry roads.

A vintage Coca-Cola sign.

March 27, 1944: The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola company registers a trademark for the soft drink’s more common name, Coke. Be sure to check out the Coca-Cola Bottle exhibition at the High Museum now through October marking the iconic bottle’s 100th anniversary.

March 30, 1873: The Atlanta Street Railway, the city’s first streetcar system pulled by mules and horses, opens the Taylor Hill line, which ran to within a block of where the Georgia Dome now sits.

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.