1895 Cotton States Exposition – The Legacy


People gathered in Piedmont Park during the Cotton States and International Exposition. Image Courtesy of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Piedmont Park is today a refuge in the middle of Atlanta – providing a place to relax in the midst of a busy city – but it was once the location of one of the most widely touted exhibitions in the state’s history. This Friday marks the 115th anniversary of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition. The 1895 Exposition was the event at which Booker T. 3d vr headset Washington gave his “Atlanta Compromise” address, regarded as one of the most significant speeches in American history. A leading educator, Washington had lobbied for the exposition in Atlanta in order to highlight social and economic advances made in the South. His speech addressed the “Negro problem” and called for whites and blacks to take responsibility for improving relations between the races, while stressing that blacks should work within current systems for advancement. More on the speech, and the controversy it created among African American intellectuals, can be found in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.  In 1904, the city of Atlanta purchased Piedmont Park from the Piedmont Park Exposition Company and extended the city limits north to include the park.

Elevated view of the grounds as seen from the Phoenix Wheel ride. Image Courtesy of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

The Fred L. Howe Cotton States and International Exposition photographs, 1895 collection (held by the Atlanta History Center) contains dozens of photographs that document the exposition, which included 25 buildings, a lake and fountains. In addition to showcasing the latest in transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other areas, there were rides and midway amusements and an exhibition of some 1,000 works of fine art.


College Football

It is that time of year again, and in the spirit of things we present a celebration of Georgia’s college football history (through the lens of the Digital Library of Georgia’s collections, of course).

Photograph of a football team from Georgia Normal and Agricultural College between 1920 and 1925. The college is now known as Albany State University and their Golden Rams football team continues to compete today. From the Vanishing Georgia Collection.

Image of Oglethorpe University’s 1927 Varsity “Ends.” From left to right, “Monk” Clement, Roy Hancock, Darnell, and Jeff Burford. From the  Oglethorpe University Library’s Athletics Photographs Collection.

Photograph of Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia in November 1962. When this photograph was taken, the stadium held 36,000 Georgia Bulldog fans. Today it has a capacity of over 92,000. From the Historic Architecture and Landscapes of Georgia Collection.

To find out more about the history of college football in Georgia, check out the New Georgia Encyclopedia articles on John Heisman, Georgia Southern Football, Herschel Walker, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.