history

In 1970, a riot devastated the African American neighborhoods of Augusta, Georgia. Remarkably, many locals and historians have never heard of this historic event.

Journalist Sea Stachura joined GPB All Things Considered host Rickey Bevington to discuss “Shots In The Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot.” It’s a new podcast from Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Jessye Norman School of the Arts.


Jud McCranie

Georgians are again debating what to do with hundreds of public memorials to the Confederacy. It's a disagreement Georgians are accustomed to having. 

In the 1990s Gov. Zell Miller was sued when he tried to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. A decade later, the state legislature removed it.  A few years ago, Gov. Nathan Deal quietly replaced “Confederate Memorial Day” with “State Holiday” on state employee memos.

The Associated Press

The long fight to remove a Confederate monument in Decatur, Georgia, came to an end this month. The 30-foot-tall structure that stood in the city's square since 1908 was taken down. Meanwhile, there is a push to put up a marker near where the Confederate monument once stood. This marker would honor a long, overlooked piece of Civil Rights history

Grant Blankenship / GPB

For years, there has been on again, off again conversation in Macon about moving the Confederate statue at the foot of Cotton Avenue. Now is a definitely an on again time, as it is for monuments elsewhere.

Coinciding with the Juneteenth holiday, artists in Macon built a box around the foot of the statue to create a place for creative expression and hopefully spurring positive conversation about what to do about the statue, conversations couched in love rather than hate.

Eduardo Montes-Bradley / Cover Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States, one of the founders of our country and author of the first drafts of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Dr. Bettye Kearse grew up being told that he was her great-great-great-great-grandfather.

“Always remember, you’re a Madison,” her mother often told her.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

A federal appeals court has ruled it will not allow the unsealing of over 70-year-old grand jury documents tied to a notorious Georgia lynching.

The 8-4 opinion issued on March 30 by the entire body of judges in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit said it would be improper to release the grand jury documents in the Moore’s Ford Lynching case. The court said to do so would endanger the secrecy of every grand jury proceeding from that point on.

On May 10, 1940, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium, and Winston Churchill was named Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He addressed the House of Commons three days later, saying, “We have nothing to give but blood and sweat and tears and toil.”

Six weeks later, France fell. In a broadcast to the nation, Churchill warned the British of a likely Nazi invasion. From early September to the following May, German planes pummeled London and other cities from the air, almost nightly. Landmarks were pulverized, and some 29,000 died in London alone.


Emilia Brock/GPB

Millions of NPR listeners trust Steve Inskeep to help them make sense of the news. The Morning Edition anchor manages to sound simultaneously knowledgeable about the facts and curious about the human side of stories — attributes of an incisive interviewer and author.  

Inskeep’s third book, Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War, follows an ambitious couple through some decisive events in American history. On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke with Inskeep about the book onstage at The Carter Presidential Library at an event for A Cappella books.


Pria Mahadevan/GPB News

Spreading lies is not new in politics. However, slickly packaged fictions can move faster, wider and deeper in the digital age.

After the election of President Trump in 2016, concepts like “alternative facts” and “post-truth” became buzzwords. Increasingly, calling something “fake news” became a blunt instrument for discrediting stories, whether based in fact or not.

The term is also being used to educate students at Emory University. History 190: Fake News is one of dozens of “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare first-year students for college-level research.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Until recently, you could have probably ridden by the Leesburg Stockade in southwest Georgia without noticing it or having any clue about the civil rights history to which the squat, block building bore witness.

A new historical marker at the site has changed some of that. It has also led to a debate about just how many young girls were jailed there in the summer of 1963.

UGA COLLEGE OF AG & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES - OCCS

The University of Georgia has been seeking research proposals about the school's history regarding slavery.

University administrators say they're committing $100,000 for the effort.

Grant Blankenship / GPB News

On a late July day, a crowd of people were trying to find the right spot on a two-lane road outside the town of Monroe to watch a crime.  

 

With the same megaphone he’s carried all day, civil rights activist and former Georgia legislator Tyrone Brooks got people where they need to be.  

 

“If you all make your way up the hill you can see the first scene,” Brooks announced. 

 

Wikimedia Commons

Beyoncé...Cher...Elvis...and Googoosh. She's the Iranian pop star that carries as much weight in the Middle East as some of those other famous artists do here in the United States.

For those connected to the Iranian diaspora, Googoosh is a household name. She consistently draws massive crowds of Iranian expatriates to her concerts. She will be performing in Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


AP Photo/David Goldman

Two years ago, far-right groups gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to oppose the city council's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a public park.

Those protests culminated in a "Unite The Right" rally, where members of Alt-Right, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups clashed with counter-protestors ⁠— one of whom was killed. More than 49 people were injured. 


Wiki Commons

This year marks 400 years since the transatlantic slave trade began. On Aug. 20, 1619, a ship carrying the first enslaved Africans to what became the United Stated arrived in Virginia, changing the course of American history.

Private Collection, Georgia Museum of Art

In the 1930s, the government created a package of programs to add new jobs to the faltering economy. One of them was the Works Progress Administration, which hired people to work on a wide variety of public service projects, including public art.

Many famous male artists that came to define American art, such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, got their start through the WPA. But a new exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens seeks to shed light on a number of female WPA artists.


Neil Armstrong / AP

The Apollo 11 rocket NASA that launched into space 50 years ago this week was also the blast-off point for things now commonly used on Earth. The first moonwalk created the foundations for technology that moves people and products around every day. 

The lunar laser retroreflector used by astronaut Buzz Aldrin was critical to developing global positioning systems or GPS. Todd Jaegar is global director of commercial optics for Haraeus, which helped produce the reflector. Jaegar visited On Second Thought from Haraeus' quartz glass facility in Buford. 


Elizabeth Karmel/AP Images

While the particulars, origin stories and claims to be the barbecue capital of world may vary, Jim Auchmutey has found one thing we can agree on: Barbecue has a Southern accent. 

The veteran journalist and smoked meat sherpa recently wrote a new book — Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America. Auchmutey stopped by On Second Thought to give a taste on what to expect from the history of barbecue.


Summer Evans

It's Juneteenth, also known as "Freedom Day"  — commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, when union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce slavery had been abolished. That was two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation of Proclamation.

On Second Thought looked at Juneteenth traditions and history with Daina Ramey Berry. Berry is professor of history and African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She's also author of four books that detail the history of slavery, including "The Price for Their Pound of Flesh."


LaRaven Taylor / GPB

"Recreational Genetics" are a thing. Apparently, an estimated 26 million people worldwide have dug into their ancestry with the help of at-home DNA kits such as Ancestry or 23andMe. But finding your family story requires more than learning ethnic percentages from a DNA swab. 

That's where genealogist Kenyatta Berry comes in. She's a lawyer and co-host of PBS' Genealogy Roadshow. Berry visited On Second Thought to talk about her new book, The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy.


Arcade Publishing

Members of Congress are working to revive an Obama-era effort to make Harriet Tubman the new face of the $20 bill. A new historical novel about Tubman gives reader a whole new face and consideration of the woman known as the "Moses of her people." 


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee are all graduates of historically black colleges and universities. For more than a century, HBCUs provided the foundation for countless dynamic and influential leaders. Now, some academic finance experts predict that a quarter of those schools could be gone within 20 years.


COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Macon's Ocmulgee mounds are now part of a national historic park. The area was a national monument and earned an expanded designation under the law President Trump signed in early March. The park is  exponentially expanding in size -- going from 702 acres to nearly 3,000. 

The Muscogee Indians built the Ocmulgee mounds more than a thousand years ago. They also identify as the "Creek" nation. GPB reporter Grant Blankenship has been following the story in Macon and spoke with "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott about the history of the mounds. 


Women's educational opportunities in the 19th Century were few and far between. Finishing schools focused on women's socialization and skills like art, music and French, rather than a rigorous academic curriculum.

The Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens aimed to change that. It opened in 1859 and taught women finishing school skills alongside math and science classes. The institute cemented Athens as a place for women's education in the South.

 


Georgia is one of five states without a hate crimes law on the books; however, legislation proposed last week could change that.  Sponsored by State Rep. Chuck Efstration, a Gwinnett Republican, House Bill 426 would introduce enhanced penalties for hate crimes if signed into law. According to the most recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 27 such crimes were reported in 2017. 

 A similar bill didn’t make it out of committee last year, despite wide support from law enforcement. We spoke with that bill's sponsor, former State Rep. Meagan Hanson, about why that legislation was a priority for her. Rachel Glickhouse, partner manager for ProPublica's Documenting Hate project, also joined the conversation. 


photo credit, Josh Luxenberg/Twitter

If asked about the "Plessy v. Ferguson" case, many Americans might connect the case to racial segregation. Far fewer would know the name Homer Plessy or what happened after he was arrested for refusing to leave a whites-only railway car in New Orleans the summer of 1892. 

Author and "Washington Post" editor Steve Luxenberg discovered the act of protest was decades in the making. Luxenberg joined "On Second Thought" and explained how Plessy, a fair-skinned man of African descent, was the perfect plant to challenge the constitutionality of separate rail cars in a case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896.


Courtesy of AP Images

In 1832, playwright and peformer Thomas Dartmouth Rice used theatrical make-up to create a supposedly black character. The character's name was Jim Crow. That name later came to represent a system of extra-judicial terror and racial segregation laws that ended in 1965, but the recent political crisis in Virginia shows dressing up in blackface did not.


Coastal Georgia Department of Natural Resources

For generations, the Georgia coast has been home to folks who have made their living on the water. A new oral history project aims to trace the traditions and changes in small-scale fishing through firsthand accounts.

Georgia Southern University anthropology professor Jennifer Sweeney Tookes and University of Georgia Marine Extension associate director Bryan Fluech are leading a team of anthropology students in compiling "Fishing Traditions and Fishing Futures: Oral Histories of Commercial Fishing in Georgia."


Georgia Historical Society

The first colonial settlers landed with James Oglethorpe in February 1733 in what is now Savannah. 

The Georgia Historical Society celebrates the founding of the state annually with the Georgia History Festival, beginning this year on Friday with Georgia Day.

GPB’s Cindy Hill spoke with Georgia Historical Society senior historian Stan Deaton and Pattye Meahger to learn more.

Digital Library of Georgia

Georgia newspapers spanning the years from the end of the colonial period to the start of the Civil War have been made publicly available via the internet.


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