By Ann Taylor Boutwell

April 1, 1884: Charles William Hubner, poet, scholar and journalist, was featured in The Southern World. Born Jan. 16, 1835, the Baltimore native attended Edgar Allen Poe’s burial service in 1849. During the Civil War, Hubner was a former telegraph corps chief for Confederate generals Joseph E. Johnston and John B. Hood during the Battle of Atlanta. After the opening of the Atlanta Cyclorama in 1892, he became one of the early lecturers. Surrounded by the enormous canvas, Hubner stood on the platform with viewers explaining the five sections of the painting sequentially lighted during the show. Shortly before his 1829 death and burial in Oakland Cemetery, he wrote a memoir, Leaves from the Book of My Life, housed today in the archives of the Atlanta History Center’s Kenan Research Center.

April 3, 1997: A two-mile stretch of Capitol Avenue and the address of Turner Field officially became Hank Aaron Boulevard in honor of the baseball legend. On Friday, after a 45-minute pre-game ceremony, the Atlanta Braves played its first official game in the new ballpark. Aaron, the special mystery guest, appeared out of center field carrying the old home plate from the soon-to-be-demolished Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The Braves won 5-4 over the Chicago Cubs. And Chipper Jones got his first hit in Turner Field history.

April 5, 1970: Sixty-five Uptowne Neighborhood Association members gathered at Henry Grady High School to launch the beautification of Charles Allen Drive from Ponce de Leon Avenue to Tenth Street. The neighborhood plan included landscaping three existing traffic islands and planting large trees along the corridor leading to Piedmont Park. Architect Henri V. Jova, founder and chairman of the 130-member, year old association – the predecessor of Midtown’s Neighborhood Association – said, “We have a great asset here in spite of reported abuses. It remains one of the glories of Atlanta.”

April 7, 1965: Gov. Carl Sanders and Mayor Ivan Allen broke ground in Buckhead on the corner of Peachtree Road and West Paces Ferry Road for the construction of the new 260,000-square foot Sears Roebuck store, designed by Atlanta architectural firm of Stevens & Wilkinson, completed in 1966.The new Buckhead Sears brought the total Atlanta stores to five with seventeen catalogue outlets. In 1984, developers Charles McKenzie and T. Harvey Mathis purchased the site for its $360 million Buckhead Plaza site.

April 13, 1986: The “Moving Wall,” a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, made Atlanta the first stop on a 26-southeastern-city-tour. Viewed in downtown’s Woodruff Park, the half size wall based on the original work of artist Maya Ying Lin completed in Washington, D.C. in 1982. The reproduction was a 250-foot-long wall of black Plexiglas and wood, inscribed with 58,022 names of Vietnam War dead and missing, including the names of the 2,219 Georgians killed and 50 missing in action.

April 15, 1913: On Confederate Memorial Day, 13-year old Mary Phagan was murdered in the National Pencil Company at 39 South Forsyth Street. Her burial site is in Marietta City Cemetery. Manager Leo Frank was convicted and later lynched by a mob, which kidnapped him from the jail. Frank was posthumously pardoned for the crime.

April 17, 1918: Silent film star Charlie Chaplin captivated an audience of 8,000 at the Atlanta Auditorium. For two hours the public went wild watching the little guy with baggy trousers, old swallowtail coat, cocky derby hat, mustache and ridiculous shoes. Chaplain sold more than $800,000 in Liberty Bonds in support of World War I.

April 23, 2006: South-View Cemetery celebrated the 120th anniversary of its charter. The highlight of the event was the formation of the new historic South-View Preservation Foundation. Of the more than 70,000 African American buried at South-View is the notable Graham Washington Jackson, Sr., the favorite musician of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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.