Happy and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Today we celebrate Atlanta, a Certified Local Government () since 1985 and the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.
Atlanta is partially bordered by the Chattahoochee River in northern Georgia and has a temperate climate. The land that would become Atlanta is the ancestral home of the Muscogee Nation.
Atlanta was founded in 1837 due to its location as the terminus of the Western and Atlantic railroad line and flourished as a center of trade and culture.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta and attended Morehouse College, a Historically Black College (HBCU) from 1944-1948. While there he was introduced to many principles of nonviolence that would eventually lead to his dedication to equal rights and ending segregation in the United States.
In 2010 Morehouse College received a Save America’s Treasures Grant from The State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division to preserve the archival materials in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. This grant funded the identification, documentation and archiving of oral histories as well as the digitization of documents and other materials housed in the Morehouse College archives. An exhibit was formed to publicly share over 600 works, including the drafts of the “I Have a Dream” speech as well as sermons and personal notes.
Today, Atlanta is known for its sports teams, thriving arts community, unique cuisine, and resounding history of the Civil Rights Movement. Being a member of the Certified Local Government program facilitates and encourages community-wide preservation and emphasizes the importance of heritage for future generations, programs, and projects.
To learn more about the Certified Local Government program, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/clg/
Information for this post sourced from City of Atlanta, Morehouse College, Muscogee Nation, National Park Service, Georgia Humanities- University of Georgia Press, and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Pictured Here: (First) “Graves Hall, Morehouse College 2016” by Thomson200 from Wikimedia Commons [A red brick four-story structure with an open bell tower, decorative trim, and a statue and trees in front]. (Second) “Atlanta Terminal Station (c. 1949)” from the Tichnor Brothers Postcard Collection of the Boston Public Library [Postcard of train terminal with automobiles parked in front]. (Third) “Downtown Atlanta Night” by Evilarry from Wikimedia Commons [A brightly lit city skyline at dusk, many tall buildings and highways are illuminated against a dark sky].