By Ann Taylor Boutwell

Jan. 1, 1897: The final football score that Friday was Atlanta University 10-Tuskegee Institute 0. Two weeks later, Dr. Henry Rutherford Butler graciously mentioned the Atlanta victory in his community news report, congratulating the boys from Alabama for good work and inviting them to come again. The game was the first black collegiate in Atlanta.

Jan. 1, 1900: Joseph “Joe” Jacobs, Atlanta pharmacist, scientific scholar, entrepreneur, historian and poet, welcomed employees, friends and leading locals to the Kimball House Hotel to dine at his annual banquet to celebrate Jacob’s Pharmacy. The signature store had opened in 1884 at 2 Marietta Street. Two years later the site made history when a brown syrupy mixture called Coca-Cola was served for the first time as a fountain drink.

Jan. 4, 1913: The Atlanta Hotel Men’s Association held its annual meeting in the new Georgian Terrace Hotel. One of the most important topics discussed was a convention bureau for city. The fellows expressed enthusiasm and cooperation with the future bureau.

Jan. 8, 1957: Rev. William Holmes Borders told more than 1,200 Atlantans packed into the historic Wheat Street Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue: “Tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock, ministers will board buses and take seats heretofore reserved for whites only.” He was referring to the Triple L. movement, a group of 100 black ministers organized to awaken and re-educate the city’s black and white communities in order to desegregate Atlanta’s buses.

Jan 12, 1976: The 73-story Westin Peachtree Center Plaza Hotel opened in Atlanta. Designed by architect John Portman, it was the tallest building in the world at the time.

Jan 26, 1969: Red, White and Maddox, Theater Atlanta’s musical hit, opened on Broadway at the Cort Theater. Written by Jay Broad and Don Tucker, the political satire imagines the racist Georgia Gov. Lester G. Maddox running for president and starting a war with the Soviet Union. The production received bomb threats and eviction notices because of the explosive nature of the material used in the show. It closed in less than two months.

Jan 27, 1994: The first Light-Up Atlanta was held. Skyscrapers and other buildings switched on their floodlights in sequence. The illumination flowed down Peachtree Street to Atlanta City Hall in 15 minutes. The annual Light Up continued through 1996.

Jan. 31, 1932: The Atlanta City Directory Company at 41-45 Pryor Street launched the 1932 edition. Some statistics showed Atlanta had 252 churches, 66 parks, and 79 schools. Of the 22 theaters and amusement centers, the Auditorium on Courtland Street had the largest seating capacity at 6,000. Other statistics revealed 880,000 volumes in public libraries and 23 hospitals with 8,000 beds.

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.