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8 Historical Facts About Georgia You Didn't Know

Historical Facts About Georgia
 8 Historical Facts About Georgia You Didn't Know

Facts - Georgia has been inhabited by humans since as early as 12,000 BC, with archaeological evidence pointing to the presence of Paleo-Indians on the Savannah River. Thousands of years later, Georgia still maintains an important history rooted in both natural and human resources, which makes it one of the most interesting places to live or visit in the United States. Here are eight historical facts about Georgia you may not have known.

1) The oldest skyscraper in America was built in Atlanta

In 1895, the 11-story Equitable Building was completed. Though it was eventually demolished in 1967, it was the tallest building in America at that time. Atlantans never take this fact for granted and proudly brag about their skyscraper legacy. Here are 8 historical facts about Georgia you didn't know: 

1) There's a chance you've heard of our country's first president, George Washington (1732-1799). While he didn't live here in Georgia, his family did – living on a plantation named Mount Vernon. 

2) The modern day Savannah has roots as far back as 1680 when Oglethorpe founded this Southern city with a mission to find English settlers for the region. 

3) At one point during the Civil War, Union troops under General William Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta and stayed there until 1864. It is now home to one of the largest college campuses in the world - Georgia Tech. 

4) The Great Depression hit hard around these parts, too; however through those trying times, Coca-Cola was invented right here in Atlanta. 

5) Contrary to popular belief, Coca-Cola wasn't created by Coke executive Asa Candler Jr., but instead by Dr. John Pemberton who wanted a cola without alcohol for medicinal purposes and Candler bought out Dr. Pemberton's patent rights and renamed it Coca-Cola. 

6) One more piece of Atlanta history? Home Depot!

2) The world's largest train wreck happened in Athens, GA

In 1916, The Wreck of the Old 97 happened in Athens, GA. Only one person died because it was the engineer who was at the controls and he jumped out before he could be harmed. In total, there were 20 cars that derailed which caused a rockslide and brush fires. It took about three hours to bring in 30 fire engines to put out all the flames. There are plenty of historical facts about Georgia you probably didn't know, so this is just one more bit of knowledge you can use for yourself or share with your friends!

3) A famous train robbery occurred in Adairsville, GA

The earliest documented robbery in Adairsville happened in 1886 when the Great Atlanta Train Robbery took place. The conductor of the train was traveling through Adairsville when two robbers stopped the train. After robbing the passengers, they burned down one of the cars and ran away with $4,000 in cash and $17,000 worth of jewelry. There are many historical facts about Georgia you didn't know so check out some more from our blog! The state Capitol building is located in downtown Atlanta: One of the most famous landmarks to visit while you're visiting the ATL is to see its state Capitol building which is a beautiful neoclassical structure that was completed in 1889. 

The first European settlers arrived on what's now known as Sapelo Island: In 1526, Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón led an expedition to explore what's now known as Sapelo Island off the coast of present-day Sapelo County. 

Only six percent of Georgia is covered by forests: According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only six percent (14 million acres) of Georgia's land mass has forest cover due to logging and urbanization throughout time.

4) The KKK was founded in the city of Pulaski, near Hawkinsville, GA

The Ku Klux Klan was founded by Confederate veterans near Pulaski, GA in 1865. The name is derived from the Greek word for circle or kuklos. Originally the KKK sought to assert white supremacy over newly emancipated African Americans, but it has grown and now denies membership to people who are black. A number of historical facts about Georgia (particularly the history of Atlanta) are intertwined with this dark part of American history and should be a point of interest when visiting.

5) Abraham Lincoln had strong ties to Macon, GA

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, was born in 1809. The 8th grader is one of the most famous figures in American history and his stories are told to each generation. But did you know that he had strong ties to Macon, GA? Well, read on and get some historical facts about Georgia you didn't know! 

1) Lincoln's father Thomas Lincoln opened a tailor shop with help from his future father-in-law Dabney Herndon in Macon after Lincoln Jr. was born there (Tuttle Post). The business collapsed a few years later when business partners went their separate ways.

6) Gainesville is home to Georgia's first McDonald's restaurant

In November 2018, a plaque was unveiled at the first McDonald's restaurant in Gainesville, GA to commemorate the building. Here are some historical facts about Georgia you might not know: -In 1837, William Tyree Gilchrist purchased 1,100 acres of land and built a sawmill along what is now Perry Road. His wife sold the land a few years later to James McDonough of Ireland, who called it Mulberry Fields Plantation and tried his hand at cultivating silkworms. This was also during a time where more than 800 people were being held as slaves in McIntosh County.

7) The state capital building was designed by an African American architect

What you might not know about Atlanta, besides being the center of the civil rights movement and hosting the 1996 Olympic Games, is that there's a rich history to explore. One of Atlanta's most distinctive features is its skyline. The capital building in Downtown was designed by an African American architect and one of the tallest buildings in Downtown Atlanta is home to a church where Martin Luther King Jr., preached at his final service. There are also quite a few secret places that you might have never been able to explore if you didn't already know about them: for example, did you know that Piedmont Park has hosted 4 different Olympics over its lifetime? Or that Underground Atlanta hosts film screenings and improv comedy shows for entertainment? Keep reading for 8 historical facts about Georgia that may surprise you!

8) In Savannah, you can visit a graveyard where 25% of residents are millionaires

There are many historical facts about Georgia to know, but one is that Savannah is the wealthiest city in America by percentage of population. 25% of Savannah residents are millionaires and you can visit a graveyard where there are six tombs - all belonging to owners of these extremely wealthy businesses. One tomb belongs to the founder of the Blue Bell Candy Company, James Brenham. The largest metropolitan in north America without a port, Savannah once served as an important seaport for cotton traders coming into and out of the US before Atlanta became more industrialized. It was also an important Confederate stronghold during the Civil War, which led to General Sherman's famous march through town at Christmas time in 1864 when he burned his way from Atlanta up to Savannah.

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