The 16 Best Things from Georgia in No Particular Order
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929, MLK was the most prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Toward the cause of liberation, he gave everything a human being can give. He sacrificed his time, his money, his energy, his freedom and, ultimately, his life. For the cause of freedom, Martin Luther King laid down his life.
- My President is Black
Young Jeezy is an Atlanta rapper. The song was a banger in 2008 and still is.
- Flannery O’Connor
Born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925, Flannery O’Connor wrote some of the greatest words ever written in the best order possible. “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” and “Good Country People” are just some of her best stories. Flannery only spits hot fire.
Easily the best rap duo from East Point, Georgia. ATLiens and Stankonia are virtuoso but you can’t go wrong spinning any Outkast record.
- Shannon Sharpe
He grew up in Glennville, Georgia and played sports at Savannah State, an historically black college. He’s now an NFL hall-of-famer and a compelling advocate for the cause of racial equality. Also, he’s funny as hell.
- Stacey Abrams
She’s the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. She’s also an accomplished novelist. After an unsuccessful run for the governorship marred by voter suppression, Abrams planned, plotted, and strategized. She registered nearly a million new voters and was instrumental in delivering Georgia’s sixteen electoral college votes to Joe Biden.
- Julian Bond
Born in Tennessee in 1940, Bond made his political life in Georgia. He helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (the organization eventually led by John Lewis). He also cofounded the Southern Poverty Law Center. He organized voters across the South, served in the Georgia state legislature, and advocated for civil rights his entire life.
- Jimmy Carter
The 39th President of the United States. He was a mediocre president and, presumably, a pretty solid peanut farmer. After his presidency, he’s committed himself to eradicating disease, building homes, and being an all-around great person.
- John Lewis
The original kid with a backpack, and maker of good trouble. John Lewis was one of the youngest speakers at the March on Washington. He served in the United States House of Representatives as the “conscience of the Congress.” The arc of the moral universe doesn’t bend towards justice; it is bent by force of will by people like John Lewis. He was prepared to give the last full measure of devotion to a more perfect union; one day, on a bridge in Alabama, he nearly gave it.
United Parcel Service (UPS) was founded as American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington in 1907. UPS moved its headquarters to Sandy Springs, Georgia in 1991. You like having stuff delivered. Hooray, Georgia.
- Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines was founded in 1925 in Macon, Georgia as Huff Daland Dusters. Initially, they operated crop dusters. In 1929, they began passenger flights between Southern cities. They moved their headquarters to Atlanta in 1941. As the airline grew, Atlanta grew. Delta is likely a major contributing factor to Joe Biden winning Georgia.
- James Oglethorpe
He founded the city of Savannah and the colony of Georgia in 1732. He attempted to implement The Oglethorpe Plan, an Enlightment-style vision of an egalitarian society. Most importantly, Oglethorpe believed in the prohibition of slavery. It’s a low bar, but in 1732, very few rich guys cleared it. Oglethorpe was better than most.
- Thomas Bell, Harvey Brewster, James T. Hughes, James B. Nelson, Elijah Robinson, Peter Parris, and Wyatt J. Parton
In 1864, these seven Georgians were hanged for attempting to join the US Army. As treason and white supremacy gripped their state, they stayed true to something higher and more noble.
- John Pemberton
Pemberton was a Civil War veteran from Georgia who invented Coca-Cola. First, he invented Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. Wine coca was a drink made from cola nut, wine, and cocaethylene (a mixture of cocaine and alcohol). Ulysses S Grant drank it while he was working on his memoirs and suffering from throat cancer. In 1885, Atlanta passed a law banning alcohol sales. Pemberton invented a nonalcoholic version called Coca-Cola. The cocaine stayed in the recipe until 1904.
- Joseph M. Terrell
Born in Greenville, Georgia in 1861, Terrell went on to become Georgia governor and a US senator from Georgia. He is distantly related to both President Jimmy Carter and President Barack Obama.
- Georgia’s 16 Electoral College Votes
Designed in 1788, the Electoral College failed miserably in 1796 and 1800. Instead of abolishing it, the Founding Fathers reformed it with the 12th Amendment. As the eighth most populous state, Georgia has sixteen Electoral College votes. For those keeping count at home, that’s about 670,000 people per electoral college vote. The least populous state has about 190,000 people per electoral college vote. One man =/= one vote, if you live in the wrong state.