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Georgia (GA): State Guide and Fun Facts


When did Georgia become a state in the United States? January 2, 1788

Who Founded Georgia? James Oglethorpe (British, 1732)

First inhabitants: Creek, Cherokee and Paleolithic Indians

Square Miles: 59,441

US Rank: 24th

State Flower: Cherokee Rose

State BirdBrown Thrasher

State Motto: Wisdom, Justice and Moderation

Capital City

Atlanta – European settlers first developed Atlanta in 1822. The area was previously home to several Cherokee and Creek Indian Tribes, however they were driven from their homeland when the explorers arrived. Shortly after settling in the area, the state of Georgia decided to build a large railroad. In 1847, the town was named Atlanta, because of the Atlantic to Pacific railroad system that terminated in the city. Atlanta became the fifth and final capital city of Georgia in 1868 because of its proximity to the major railway and probability for growth.

 

What is Georgia famous for?

1. Peaches – Peaches were first brought to the United States by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to the new world. Due to its ideal climate, Georgia peach trees began to flourish and their growth spread quickly. The sale of peaches from Georgia began in 1951 when Raphael Moses began shipping peaches for sale elsewhere. Although the state ranks third in overall peach production (behind California and South Carolina), it is known to have the sweetest and most juicy varieties of the fruit available.

2. Stone Mountain – Located in the town of Stone Mountain, Georgia, Stone Mountain is a large quartz mountain with little vegetation that rises up from the surrounding level land. The side of the mountain contains an enormous relief carving of Confederate’s Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson riding their three horses. The overall picture is almost 150,000 square feet or three acres in size. It was the original vision of a Daughter of the Confederacy, Helen Plane. She and the Daughters hired Gutzon Borglum (who also carved Mount Rushmore) to carve the project in 1916. He quit after seven years and Augustus Lukeman, continued work on the relief for another five years. After 1928, the carving ceased and did not begin again until 1964. It was completed in 1972.

3. Gone with the Wind – The novel, first written in 1936 by Margaret Mitchell was an instant bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize one year later in 1937. The story takes place in Clayton County, Georgia during the American Civil War. Its protagonist, Scarlett O’Hara is a wealthy southern belle that endured the hardships of love and family during the war while surrounded by members of the Confederacy.

What is Georgia’s economy?

1. Agriculture – Georgia’s top agricultural products include chicken eggs, chickens, beef cattle, hogs and milk. The highest yielding crops in the state include sweet potatoes, peanuts, pecans, tobacco, cotton, soybeans, corn, oats and wheat. Georgia is one of the largest producing states of peaches in the country. Other fruit crops include apples and watermelons.

2. Manufacturing – Georgia is a leading producer of baked goods, beer, chicken and peanut butter. Other non-food items that the state manufactures include carpeting, cotton fabrics, yarn, automobiles, aircraft parts and missiles.

3. Georgia’s largest revenue generating sector is the services industry. This includes businesses such as auto dealerships, discount stores, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, law firms, private heath care companies, finance, insurance and real estate sales.

 

Georgia Historical Landmarks

1. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site – The site includes many of the buildings that remain form the time Dr. King grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. The Ebenezer Baptist church is the location where both King and his father were preachers. Martin Luther King’s early home is located near to the church as well. Other sites in the historical area include Fire Station No. 6, the International World Peace Rose Garden, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and a visitor’s center that is home to a museum dedicated to the American Civil Rights movement.

2. Lapham-Patterson House – Built in 1884 in Thomasville, Georgia, the Lapham-Patterson house was for C.W. Lapham, a wealthy Chicagoan who wished to have a warm residence during the cold winter months in Chicago. The house is ornately decorated in the Victorian architectural style, with singled siding, breathtakingly ornate porches and railing work, gas lighting, running water, indoor plumbing and most interestingly, its asymmetrical design. This was uncommon in the primarily Federal and Greek Revival dominated southern United States.

3. Juliette Gordon Low Historic District – The district, located in Savannah Georgia is an area composed of three buildings related to the founding of the Girl Scouts of America. Juliette Gordon Low, who was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, founded the Girl Scouts. Her birthplace and family home is known as the Wayne-Gordon House, which is close to the Andrew Low Carriage House, the first headquarters for the Girl Scouts of America. In 1911, the middle-aged Low met the founder of the Boy Scouts and began to seek a following for the Girl Scouts. Today, the homes included the district belong to the GSA and have been opened as museums commemorating their founder.

4. Woodrow Wilson Home – Thomas Woodrow Wilson spent much of his childhood from 1860 to 1870 in Augusta, Georgia, on the border of South Carolina. The home was part of the Presbyterian church across the street where his father was the preacher. The house currently operates as a museum.