Every day there are thousands of news stories that break across the country, and ultimately go unnoticed by most. However, when the news that breaks involves your home state, you tend to pay more attention. Especially when that news is HUGE and happens to draw the eyes and ears of every fellow American as they watch in suspense and awe. Here are a few times when all eyes were on Georgia:
1. The Olympic terrorist bombing in Centennial Park.
On July 27th, 1996, a terrorist struck a park in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. The blast initially killed one person, and injured more than 100. Another person later died of a heart attack. The now-famed Centennial Olympic Park was designed to be the "town square" of the Olympics, and would have been swarming with people that day if it wasn't for brave security guard Richard Jewell, who discovered the bomb before it was detonated and was able to clear most of the spectators out of the park.
2. The school shooting at Heritage High School in Conyers.
On May 20, 1999, a 15-year-old student named Anthony Solomon brought a .22-caliber rifle with him onto the high school campus of Heritage High School. He opened fire, wounding six students in the process. In 2000, Solomon was tried in court and found guilty, but mentally ill. His final sentencing came in at 20 years and 65 years of probation. What made this story so huge was that it came just one month after the Columbine shooting in Colorado.
3. One of the largest Salmonella outbreaks in U.S. history.
In 2008 and 2009, nine people died and at least 714 people in more than 40 states, (the majority of them children,) fell ill due to food poisoning from eating products containing contaminated peanuts. The FDA eventually confirmed that the sources of the outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella typhimurium, were peanut butter, peanut paste, and peanut meal produced by the Peanut Corporation of America at its Blakely, Georgia processing plant. After a two-week investigation of the plant, FDA inspectors reported that the company had information that its peanut-butter products were tainted with Salmonella, but shipped them anyway before receiving the results of a retest.
4. The disappearance of Bud and June Runion.
On Jan. 22, 2015, 69-year-old Bud and 66-year-old June Runion disappeared after driving to south Georgia to check out a 1966 Mustang for which they had placed a wanted ad online. Four days later, their bodies were found in a densely wooded area and their vehicle was pulled from a secluded pond nearby. They both had been shot in the head. Investigators said the vehicle never existed and Georgia-native Ronnie Adrian Towns used Craigslist to commit the heinous murder and armed robbery. He apparently had other victims lined up as well.
5. The “Storm of the Century".
Twenty-one years ago, Georgia was slammed by a blizzard, that rocked the state nearly overnight. Two days prior, Atlanta had a high of 75 degrees. By the time the storm finally tapered off, some places in north Georgia had reported more than 30 inches of snow. The storm paralyzed Atlanta and north Georgia for days, the heavy snowfall closing interstates from Atlanta northward. In the end, 15 people were killed due to the fierce blizzard.
There are plenty of other stories that could have made the list that put Georgia in a country-wide spotlight, especially since Georgia is such a largely populated, widely active state. Are there any others that you remember in particular?