Dec. 1, 1953: Atlanta University president Dr. Rufus Early Clement (1933-1969) won a decisive election to the Atlanta Board of Education, defeating white incumbent T.H. Landers, who served on the board since 1927. Clement won with 22,259 votes to Landers’s 13,936. Clement, supported by many white leaders in Atlanta, described his victory as proof that “the white population is ready to work constructively with the Negro population.”
Dec. 3, 1931: Atlanta’s clocks remained on Central Standard Time after 10,201 citizens cast votes in the previous day’s referendum voting down a move to Eastern Standard Time. Ten years later on March 21, 1941, Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed a law placing all Georgia on Eastern Standard Time.
Dec. 4, 1877: A statewide election was held to decide if Atlanta would continue to be the state capital or if the seat would be returned to Milledgeville. Voters approved Atlanta by a vote of 99,147 to 55, 201.
Dec. 12, 1936: Atlantan playwright Alfred Uhry was born in Atlanta to Alene Fox and Ralph K. Uhry. He went on to write the award-winning plays Driving Miss Daisy and The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
Dec. 15, 1939: The film version of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind premiered at the Lowe’s Grand Theatre. A 70th anniversary DVD boxed set has just been released that includes a reproduction of the premiere program.
Dec. 18, 1971: Golf legend Robert “Bobby” Tyre Jones (b.1902) died. In 1998, Bobby’s Grand Slam was named the most significant achievement ever accomplished in golf history. His gravesite is Oakland Cemetery.
Dec. 23, 1843: The Georgia General Assembly officially adopted the name Marthasville for what was once called Terminus (and would eventually become Atlanta). Named for the daughter of Gov. Wilson Lumpkin (1783-1870), a major proponent of railroad expansion.
Dec. 28, 1994: Elva “Speegie” Spangenberg, Atlanta’s most famous movie house ticket taker and tour guide for Rhodes Hall, died at the age of 107. She worked at the art-deco styled Rhodes Theater from 1944 until it closed in1985.