It’s time for a fun Georgia history lesson. Did you know that Georgia has had five capitals, or that when James Oglethorpe founded Georgia both alcohol and slavery were banned? Read on for more fun facts. Here are 10 things I bet you didn’t know about the history of Georgia:
1. Georgia's founder, James Oglethorpe, didn't like prisons.
Oglethorpe was an ardent prison reformer and wanted to help give the "industrious yet unfortunate poor" a second chance in America. It's ironic how a country that was partially created to give offenders a second chance now imprisons more people than any other nation in the world.
2. The founder of Georgia made sure everyone was free from religious persecution--except for Catholics.
The reason he did this was because most of Spanish Florida was Catholic and Oglethorpe wanted a buffer state between the Carolina colony and the Spanish colonies. Also, Catholicism wasn't popular in England at the time so I'm sure that didn't help either!
3. In the beginning of Georgia's history, alcohol was banned.
When Oglethorpe founded Georgia, he banned alcohol. Oglethorpe left his post in Georgia after 12 years and Georgia immediately lifted this ban. This interesting picture from 1820 depicts the attitude towards alcohol during that time.
4. He also banned slavery too.
Georgia was the only one of the original 13 colonies to ban both alcohol and slavery. Georgia changed this law to allow slaves three years after Oglethorpe left his post. The image above is a picture of a slave trading business in Atlanta in 1864.
5. Georgia originally wanted to be a silk colony instead of a peach n' peanuts colony.
The original goal of Georgia colonists was to make silk Georgia's primary staple. Why? Because the plentiful Mulberry Tree is a favorite staple for silk worms that's why! When that plan totally flunked, rice, indigo, lumber, and fur became Georgia's primary exports.
6. Former President Jimmy Carter was a submarine naval officer, nuclear physics teacher, peanut farmer, and the Gov. of Georgia before becoming President of the U.S.
Talk about having a presidential resume. (Well, at least now you know what type of credentials are needed to run for office!)
7. The world's largest sculpture is located on the face of Stone
The figures of Confederate President Jefferson Davis,
Generals Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and
Lee's horse, Traveler, are depicted on the face of this huge granite rock.
8. Coca-Cola is the most popular and biggest selling soft drink in history.
James Pemberton, an Atlanta native, created Coca-Cola in 1886. Coca-Cola is not only the best selling soft drink in history, its also the best known product in the world! Pictured above is the first boat motor style Coca-Cola dispenser in 1948.
9. Atlanta was the only city in North America destroyed as an act of war.
Pictured above are the ruins of the Atlanta Union Depot in 1864.
10. Atlanta is Georgia’s fifth capital.
Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville all held the title of Georgia's capital before Atlanta.
So, did I stump you or did you know every one of these facts? What other cool and interesting facts do you know about Georgia’s history? Tell me in the comments below!