By Ann Taylor Boutwell

Aug. 8, 1922: East Lake resident Ernest D. Duncan, a realtor associated with the Grant-Jeter agency, received a city permit to build the Pershing Point Apartments. Albert Valdemar Gude’s contracting company constructed the 10-story structure designed by Architect G. Lloyd Preacher. When occupancy opened at 1172 Peachtree Street in November 1923, a promotional postcard somewhat exaggerated the apartments amenities, calling it “the most modern equipped building of its kind in the world.” By the 1970s, the building’s address had changed to 1428 and renamed the Pershing Hotel. After several mysterious fires in 1975 a demolition permit was granted and the wrecking ball struck its last blow to the 61-year-old landmark in 1984. Since 1989 the National service Industries headquarters building has graced the site.

Aug. 10, 1916: Ernest Garfield Beaudry, a former retail sales manager for the Ford Motor Company’s Atlanta District, bought two Model T Touring Cars with 56 treads for $720 from the Ford Motor Company in Highland Park, Detroit. A copy of the sales receipt indicated he sold them to A.B. Caldwell and Captain J. J. Casey. Seventeen days later, Beaudry ran an ad in the Atlanta Constitution officially announcing the opening of Beaudry Ford as Atlanta’s first Ford dealership, located at 138-140 Marietta Street. In December 2000, Georgia State University bought the last site of the landmark Beaudry Ford at Piedmont and Ellis streets, which is now a dormitory for Georgia State University students.

Aug. 19, 1937: Grady Hospital’s Board of Trustees formally announced the future opening of the city’s first blood bank. The next day Grady employees noted the office telephones rang consistently from Atlantans volunteering to be the first donors. The blood banks purpose was to keep a reserve at all times so there would be no delays for patients needing transfusions. In 1937, Grady Hospital gave an average of 50 to 100 transfusions a month.

Aug. 25, 1951: Georgia native Dorothy Kirby won the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.  In 1934, at age 14, she entered her first USWAGC. Dorothy was the runner-up to Betty Jameson in 1939 and to Louise Suggs in 1947.
In 1974, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. She died in Atlanta Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2000.

Aug. 27, 1897: City Park Commissioners discussed the dilapidated condition of “The Battle of Atlanta” painting and the building in which it was housed. Commissioners agreed the exhibition was Grant Park’s and the city’s the most popular attraction, but most thought repairs were useless and a better solution would be closing it with regret. Two days later after re-examining the Cyclorama with a local artist, the commissioners had a different perspective when the estimate was $350. Mayor Charles Collier and the commissioners decided to close the Cyclorama temporarily to repair the painting and the building.

Aug. 30, 1961: President John Kennedy wrote: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Governor Vandiver, Mayor Hartsfield of Atlanta, Chief of police Jenkins, Superintendent of Schools Letson and all of the parents, students, and citizens of Atlanta, Georgia, for the responsible, law abiding manner in which four high schools were desegregated today.” One of William Hartsfield’s last acts as mayor was to peacefully and quietly desegregate four Atlanta public high schools. The nine African-Americans students were Lawrence Jefferson and Mary James Mullen (Henry Grady High School); Madelyn Nix and Thomas E. Welch (Joseph Emerson Brown High School); Willie Jean Black, Donita Gaines, Arthur C. Simmons (Northside High School); and Rosalyn Walton and Martha Ann Holmes (Murphy High School).

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.