By Ann Taylor Boutwell

Feb 3, 1920: Georgia Harris, a former slave, died at age 74 while residing in Clearwater, Florida, at the winter residence of Nannie Seawell Boyd, widow of Isaac Snedicor Boyd, founder of the Southern Saw Works in East Point. The former family nurse had been with Mrs. Boyd for 27 years. She cared for the Boyds two children, Elizabeth Boyd Howell and Eldridge Seawell, and during their infancy lived with the family at 695 Peachtree Street, which today is a parking lot on the southeast corner of Sixth Street. In the early 1900s, she moved with the family to East Point and cared for Isaac during his four-year illness before his 1904 death. She is buried at Oakland Cemetery in the Boyd family plot.

Feb. 7, 1986: Theater-goers applauded and bravoed the productions of two major black theater companies. The world premiere of Color Me Dorothy, a one-woman musical about Hollywood actress Dorothy Dandridge produced by Just Us Theater Company, was onstage at Peachtree Playhouse. Across the street at Academy Theater – the old Peachtree Theater – Jomandi Productions opened with Do Lord Remember Me, a musical of slave narratives.

Feb. 12, 1943: Warner Brothers’ film Casablanca, a World War II drama starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, opened on Peachtree Street at the Fox Theater. It won three Oscars.

Feb. 21, 1948: Atlanta INtown salutes the late Jerry Chambers’ birth date. Jerry’s face was a familiar one during the mid 1970s to 1984 at the Virginia-Highland summer celebrations with barbecue, parades, and picnics, predating John Howell Park and Summerfest. After graduating from St. Joseph’s High School on Courtland Street, Jerry trained in the art of chinaware and furniture restoration. In 1970, the longtime Virginia Highland resident launched his first intown shop and grew his business to larger storefronts along the neighborhood corridor. For six years his H & G Furniture shingle hung on Lanier Boulevard.  In 1982, he expanded the store and opened in Little Five Points at 1188 McLendon Ave. Here he died on Jan. 4, 2013, of a fatal heart attack. In 1971, Jerry married Jenny Shadrick at her parent’s home on Rosewood Drive. His two sons are Curtis and Jason Chambers.

Feb. 21, 1940: U.S. Representative John Lewis was born in Troy, Ala. He experienced the civil rights movement in the 1961 “Freedom Rides” and the 1963 March on Washington. In late 1967, Lewis arrived in Atlanta to work with the Southern Regional Council office. At a small New Year’s Eve party he met his future wife, Lillian Miles. The future Mrs. Lewis was a cum laude graduate of California State College with a masters degree in library science from the University of Southern California. After a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Yaba, Nigeria, Atlanta University hired her in the fall of 1965 as a librarian. After a few months, they were in a relationship. Then the horrific events of 1968 happened: The assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King in April and e Robert Kennedy in June. “There was one good thing, about the end of 1968,” said Rep. Lewis in his book, “Lillian and I became man and wife.” They were married in September in the old Heritage Ebenezer Church at 449 Auburn Ave. Forty-four years later on Monday, Jan 7, Atlanta celebrated the life of Lillian Miles Lewis ,who died on New Year’s Eve 2012, at Ebenezer.

Feb. 25, 1941: Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and Grand Slam golfer Robert Tyre Jones, both Atlanta natives, meet for the first time at the Piedmont Driving Club. The occasion was a Community Fund dinner, today’s United Way of Greater Atlanta. That Monday evening Mitchell’s husband, John Marsh, mentioned the fact to Atlanta Constitution Editor Clark Howell. Flabbergasted, Clark proceeded to officially introduce Atlanta’s two international celebrities.

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Collin KelleyEditor

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.