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Atlanta Constitution editor is kidnapped

Atlanta Constitution editor is kidnapped

Reg Murphy, an editor of The Atlanta Constitution, is kidnapped after being lured from his home near the city. Williams told the newspaperman that he had 300,000 gallons of heating oil to donate to the poor. The 33-year-old Williams abducted Murphy, who was well known for his anti-Vietnam War stance, at gunpoint.

For the next 49 hours, Williams drove Murphy around the city, stopping to phone in ransom demands to the newspaper. Williams claimed to represent a right-wing militia group and insisted on receiving $700,000. Finally, managing editor G. James Minter delivered the money to Williams and Murphy was released.

Within hours, Williams and his wife Betty were caught in their home outside the city with the ransom money. At the subsequent trial, Williams attempted a plea of mental instability and told the jury about being abused as a child. There was also evidence that he had been using amphetamines, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery. Williams was sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping and extortion, and his wife received three years’ probation for her concealment of the crime. In 1975, Williams was granted a new trial, found guilty again, and sentenced to 50 years in federal prison. He served nine years in federal prison before being paroled.


Henry W. Grady

Henry Woodfin Grady (May 24, 1850 – December 23, 1889) was an American journalist and orator who helped reintegrate the states of the Confederacy into the Union after the American Civil War. Grady encouraged the industrialization of the South. He was praised by contemporaries and by authors Shavin and Galphin as a civic promoter, political strategist and captivating speaker, [2] and by Atlanta journalist Frederick Allen as a visionary. [3] However, in modern times, Grady's arguments for the need for white supremacy in the post-Civil War South have resulted in his legacy being seen as mixed and overtly racist. [4] [5] Grady's name has been removed from several schools including Atlanta's former Grady High School. Grady was the father-in-law of Federal Reserve Chairman Eugene Robert Black and grandfather of banker and World Bank President Eugene R. Black Sr.


  • 1821 – Creek Indians cede land that is now Metro Atlanta per treaty. [1]
  • 1839 – Settlement of "Terminus" established (at what would be end of Western and Atlantic Railroad). [2]
  • 1843 – Town of Marthasville incorporated. [1]
  • 1845
    • Georgia Railroad (Augusta-Marthasville) begins operating. [1]
    • Marthasville renamed "Atlanta." [1]
    • Population: 2,572 founded. [1]
      established. [5]
  • Gas lighting installed in city. [6]
    • : 9,554. [7] becomes mayor (1860 - 1861).
      becomes mayor (1861 - 1861 - joined CSA government). becomes mayor (1861 - 1862).
      becomes mayor (1862 - 1866).
    • May–September: Union forces wage Atlanta Campaign.
    • September 2: Union forces take city. [8]
    • November 15: Burning of Atlanta by Union forces. [2]
    • Nov. 26: Col. Luther J. Glenn is appointed commander of the Atlanta Post. [9] : 182
    • Dec. 5: Cap. Thomas L. Dodd is appointed the Provost-Marshal. [9] : 182
    • Dec 7: Gen. W. P. Howard sends his report to Governor Brown on the destruction of Atlanta. [9] : 182–185 [10] : 407–412
    • Civil War ends slaves freed. , first Atlanta black college, founded.
    • Atlanta becomes Georgia state capital. [1]
    • Constitution newspaper begins publication. [12]
      begins operating. [1][13]
    • Public school system organized. [5]
      moves from Augusta to Atlanta and is renamed Atlanta Baptist Seminary. [14]
    • Atlanta Building and Loan Association established. [15]
    • Abyssinian Library established. [16] : 37,409 Atlanta surpasses Savannah as Georgia's largest city. [7]
      and Morris Brown Colored College founded. held. [5]
    • Atlanta Journal newspaper begins publication. [12] established.
      founded. [17]
    • Atlanta goes "dry". [citation needed] beverage introduced. [18]
      held. [5][19] and Inman Park (first garden suburb) [citation needed] founded. invents the coupon. [citation needed]
    • First electric streetcars enable further expansion of city. building opens. [5] and Atlanta Zoo[21] established. is incorporated.
      held. [5]
    • September: Booker T. Washington gives "Atlanta Compromise" Speech. [22] founded.

    1900s-1940s Edit

    • 1901 - Atlanta Theological Seminary established. [5]
    • 1902 - Carnegie Library opens. [24]
    • 1904 - Atlanta Art Association formed. [25]
    • 1905
        [5] and Associated Charities of Atlanta [5] founded. in business. [26][27]
      • : 154,839 [7] metro 522,442.
      • Restaurants segregated other Jim Crow laws follow. [citation needed]
        starts "evening college", now Georgia State.
      • Augusta Institute established founded in 1867 is renamed Morehouse College.
        established. [29]
      • Labor strike at Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills. [30]
        relocated to Atlanta.
      • November: film The Birth of a Nation premieres. refounded in Atlanta. [27][31]
      • Streetcar strike. [32]
      • Utopian Literary Club [26] and Atlanta Junior League [19] founded.
      • Butler Street YMCA opens. [34] : 200,616 metro 622,283. [7]
        established.
      • City Hall built. [2]
      • January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. is born.
      • WGST radio begins broadcasting. [35]
        begins. [37] elected mayor. built, first public housing in US. [citation needed]
        opens.
      • Gone with the Wind world premiere draws 300,000 to streets. [citation needed]
        opens. : 302,288. [7]
        National Historic Site established. [2] and Associated Klans of Georgia [citation needed] headquartered in city.
      • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention founded.
      • December 7: Winecoff Hotel fire. [38]
        [40] and WERD-AM radio [41] begin broadcasting.
      • Atlanta Negro Voters League founded. [41]
      • Last streetcar line converted to trolleybus. [citation needed]

      1950s-1990s Edit

      • 1950
          : 331,314 [7] metro 997,666. , Atlanta Transit Co. takes over transit from Georgia Railway and Power.
        • October 12: Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple bombing. [43]
        • Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam established. [44]
          mall opens. population hits 1 million. [citation needed]
          : 487,455 [7] metro 1,312,474.
        • March 15: An Appeal for Human Rights is released. at Rich's lunch counters during the Civil Rights Movement. [45][42]
        • Atlanta Inquirer newspaper begins publication. [46]
          becomes mayor. begin token desegregation. [46] desegregates restaurant. opens Merchandise Mart, kicking off transformation of downtown. built.
        • Peyton Road barricades built in Cascade Heights. [27]
        • 106 Atlanta art patrons die in Paris air crash.
          begins. converted en masse to buses. [citation needed]
        • U.S. Supreme Court decides Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States. [43]
        • Atlanta Press Club [47] and Atlanta Track Club established.
          constructed.
        • Both the relocated Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball and the expansion Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League begin play at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium.
          soccer team begins play. relationship established with Salzburg, Austria. [48]
          founded. annual football game begins. basketball team relocates to Atlanta. constructed.
        • Coronet Theater [36] and Perimeter freeway [citation needed] open.
        • Afro-American Police League chapter established. [23]
          begins. : 496,973 [7] metro 1,763,626
          established.
        • International flights begin at Hartsfield Airport. [49]
        • Sister city relationships established with Montego Bay, Jamaica and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [48]
        • The Atlanta Flames are established as an expansion team of the National Hockey League.
        • The Omni Coliseum opens as the new home of the NBA's Hawks and NHL's Flames.
        • Sevananda Natural Foods Market in business. [50]
        • Sister city relationships established with Lagos, Nigeria Taipei, Taiwan and Toulouse, France. [48]
          established. begins. opens. headquartered in city. [23][51]
          founded.
        • Sister city relationship established with Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. [48]
          begins operating. begin.
          : 425,022 [7] metro 2,233,324.
        • All-news television network CNN begins broadcasting Turner empire takes off. [52]
        • Al-Farooq Masjid (mosque) [44] and Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site established.
        • Flames hockey team sold and relocated to Calgary, Alberta.
          founded.
        • Sister city relationship established with Daegu, South Korea. [48]
          becomes mayor. headquartered in Atlanta.
          established.
        • Sister city relationship established with Brussels, Belgium. [48]
          dedicated.
        • Midtown Assistance Center established. [44]
          becomes U.S. representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district. [53]
        • Sister city relationship established with Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. [48]
          .
        • Sister city relationship established with Tbilisi, Georgia. [48]
          organized. established. [54]
        • Drepung Loseling Institute opens. [44]
          opens. and Bank of America Plaza built.
        • October 28: Atlanta Braves baseball team wins 1995 World Series.
        • Atlanta Downtown Improvement District established.
        • Sister city relationship established with Cotonou, Benin. [48]
        • July–August: Summer Olympics.
        • July 27: Centennial Olympic Park bombing.
        • Sister city relationship established with Salcedo, Dominican Republic. [48]
          reconstructed as Turner Field.
        • Both the Omni Coliseum and Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium are imploded within one week of one another, with the former's footprint used to construct a new arena, while the latter became parking for Turner Field.
        • City website online (approximate date). [55] [chronology citation needed]
        • Sister city relationship established with Nuremberg, Germany. [48]
          opens. ice hockey team begins play.
          dedicated.
        • Sister city relationship established with Ra'anana, Israel. [48]
        • Population: 416,474 metro 4,112,198.

        2000s Edit

        • 2001 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper in publication.
        • 2002 - Shirley Franklin becomes mayor.
        • 2003 - Fermi Project established.
        • 2004 - Atlanta Rollergirls established.
        • 2005
            becomes world's busiest.
        • Sister city relationship established with Fukuoka, Japan. [48]
          • becomes world's largest airline. [citation needed]
          • March 14–15: 2008 Atlanta tornado outbreak.

          2010s Edit

          • 2010 - Population: 420,003 metro 5,268,860. [56]
          • 2011
            • Thrashers hockey team are sold and relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, becoming the new Winnipeg Jets. investigative report issued.
            • Atlanta first US city to demolish all public housing projects. [citation needed]
              closes.
          • Turner Field hosts its last baseball game, with the Braves moving to a new ballpark, SunTrust Park, in Cobb County.
            • Georgia Dome closes. begins play in Major League Soccer. occurs.
            • Turner Field reconstructed as Georgia State Stadium. opens.
            • Hackers successfully breach the city's servers, encrypting files with ransomware and disrupting services.

            2020s Edit

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            25. Weston Flint (1893), "Georgia", Statistics of Public Libraries in the United States and Canada, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, hdl:2027/mdp.39015034099997
            26. ^
            27. "About Us". Atlanta: Ebenezer Baptist Church . Retrieved October 13, 2013 .
            28. ^
            29. Andrew F. Smith (2011). "Chronology". Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood. ISBN978-0-313-39393-8 .
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            31. Atlanta History Center. "Finding Aids For Archives and Manuscripts". Digital Library of Georgia . Retrieved October 31, 2013 .
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            33. "American and Western Photographic Societies", International Annual of Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, New York: E. & H. T. Anthony & Company, 1890
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            35. Vernon N. Kisling, Jr., ed. (2001). "Zoological Gardens of the United States (chronological list)". Zoo and Aquarium History. USA: CRC Press. ISBN978-1-4200-3924-5 .
            36. ^
            37. Nell Irvin Painter (2006). "Timelines". Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present . Oxford University Press. p. 361+. ISBN978-0-19-513755-2 .
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            39. Nina Mjagkij, ed. (2001), Organizing Black America: an Encyclopedia of African American Associations, Garland, ISBN9780815323099
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            41. Atlanta, Carnegie Library of (December 1902), Carnegie Library Bulletin, 1, Atlanta, Ga.
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            43. Florence Levy, ed. (1911), American Art Annual, 9, New York
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            45. Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. "Finding Aids For Archives and Manuscripts". Digital Library of Georgia . Retrieved October 13, 2013 .
            46. ^ abcdAppiah 1999.
            47. ^
            48. Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, ed. (1999), "Atlanta Riot of 1906", Africana: the Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, New York: Basic Civitas Books, p. 148+, ISBN0465000711
            49. ^
            50. "A History: the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1914-1989". Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta . Retrieved October 13, 2013 .
            51. ^
            52. Aaron Brenner Benjamin Day Immanuel Ness, eds. (2015) [2009]. "Timeline". Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History. Routledge. ISBN978-1-317-45707-7 .
            53. ^
            54. Kenneth T. Jackson (1992) [1967]. The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. ISBN978-1-4617-3005-7 .
            55. ^Scott 2000.
            56. ^
            57. "50 U.S. Cities and Their Stories: Atlanta", American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: a Digital Encyclopedia, University of Michigan , retrieved February 1, 2016 (includes timeline)
            58. ^
            59. Nina Mjagkij (1994). Light in the Darkness: African Americans and the YMCA, 1852-1946. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN0-8131-2801-3 .
            60. ^ abcd
            61. Jack Alicoate, ed. (1939), "Standard Broadcasting Stations of the United States: Georgia", Radio Annual, New York: Radio Daily, OCLC2459636
            62. ^ ab
            63. "Movie Theaters in Atlanta, GA". CinemaTreasures.org. Los Angeles: Cinema Treasures LLC . Retrieved October 13, 2013 .
            64. ^
            65. "Atlanta Dogwood Festival History". Atlanta Dogwood Festival . Retrieved October 13, 2013 .
            66. ^
            67. Ross Gregory (2003). "Chronology". Cold War America, 1946 To 1990. Facts on File. ISBN978-1-4381-0798-1 .
            68. ^
            69. "ARC History, Funding and Membership". Atlanta Regional Commission . Retrieved September 12, 2016 .
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            71. Charles A. Alicoate, ed. (1960), "Television Stations: Georgia", Radio Annual and Television Year Book, New York: Radio Daily Corp., OCLC10512206
            72. ^ ab
            73. Quintard Taylor (ed.), BlackPast.org, Seattle, Washington
            74. ^ ab
            75. Robert L. Harris Jr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn (2013). "Chronology". Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939. Columbia University Press. ISBN978-0-231-51087-5 .
            76. ^ ab
            77. "Events", Civil Rights Digital Library, Athens, GA: Digital Library of Georgia (Timeline)
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            81. "Cases: United States". Global Nonviolent Action Database. Pennsylvania: Swarthmore College . Retrieved October 13, 2013 .
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            84. "Our History". Atlanta Press Club . Retrieved March 19, 2017 .
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            86. "List of Atlanta's 18 Sister Cities". City of Atlanta, GA . Retrieved December 1, 2015 .
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            88. ^
            89. "NCGA Co-ops: Georgia". Iowa: National Cooperative Grocers Association.
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            91. "Founders". National Conference of Black Mayors . Retrieved February 14, 2014 .
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            93. Steven Anzovin and Janet Podell, ed. (2000). Famous First Facts. H.W. Wilson Co. ISBN0824209583 .
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            107. Hollis, Henri Abusaid, Shaddi Stevens, Alexis (March 16, 2021). "8 killed in metro Atlanta spa shooting spree suspect captured in South Georgia". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Retrieved March 16, 2021 .

            Published in 19th century Edit

            • V. T. Barnwell (1867), Barnwell's Atlanta city directory, and strangers' guide, Atlanta: Intelligencer Book and Job Office, OL22850965M
            • Atlanta City Directory for 1870. Atlanta, Georgia: William R. Hanleiter. 1870.
            • William Henry Overall, ed. (1870), "Atlanta", Dictionary of Chronology, London: William Tegg, OCLC2613202
            • Atlanta City Directory for 1872. Atlanta, Georgia: Plantation Publishing Co. 1872.
            • Charles H. Jones (1873), "Atlanta", Appletons' Hand-book of American Travel: the Southern Tour, New York: D. Appleton & Co.
            • Directory of the City of Atlanta for 1877. A.E. Sholes. 1877.
            • E.Y. Clarke (1877), Illustrated History of Atlanta, J. P. Harrison
            • Atlanta City Directory. Sholes & Co. 1882.
            • Jacob D. Cox (1882), Atlanta, New York: C. Scribner's Sons, OL7223076M
            • I.W. Avery (1885). Atlanta: the leader in trade, population, wealth and manufactures in Georgia. Atlanta: Constitution Publishing Co.
            • Wallace Putnam Reed (1889), History of Atlanta, Georgia, Syracuse, N.Y: D. Mason & Co., OL22882278M
            • Atlanta City Directory. Atlanta, Ga.: R.L. Polk & Co. 1891.
            • E.R. Carter (1894), The black side: a partial history of the business, religious and educational side of the Negro in Atlanta, Ga., Atlanta
            • Atlanta City Directory for 1896. Franklin Printing and Publishing Co. 1896.
            • Atlanta City Directory for 1898. Bullock and Saunders. 1898.
            • Handbook of the City of Atlanta, Atlanta: Atlanta City Council, 1898
            • "City of Atlanta", Rand, McNally & Co.'s Handy Guide to the Southeastern States, Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1899

            Published in 20th century Edit

            • "Atlanta", Chambers's Encyclopaedia, London: W. & R. Chambers, 1901
            • Edward Young Clarke, ed. (1902), Atlanta: greatest city of the great South, OL22850070M
            • Thomas H. Martin (1902), Atlanta and its builders, Atlanta: Century Memorial Publishing Co. v.2
            • Pioneer citizens' history of Atlanta, 1833-1902, Atlanta, Ga.: Pioneer Citizens' Society, 1902, OCLC1850685, OL6609963M
            • Atlanta, Carnegie Library of (March 1903), "Finding List Georgia Collection: Atlanta", Carnegie Library Bulletin, Atlanta, Ga., 1 (8)
            • Atlanta City Directory. Foote & Davies Co. 1904
            • "Atlanta, Pacesetter City of the South", National Geographic Magazine, Washington DC, 135, 1969
            • Virginia H. Hein (1972). "The Image of 'A City Too Busy to Hate': Atlanta in the 1960s". Phylon. 33 (3): 205–221. doi:10.2307/273521. JSTOR273521.
            • James C. Starbuck (1974), Historic Atlanta to 1930: an indexed, chronological bibliography, Monticello, Ill., OCLC933763, OL24980299M
            • Blaine A. Brownell (1975). "Commercial-Civic Elite and City Planning in Atlanta, Memphis, and New Orleans in the 1920s". Journal of Southern History. 41 (3): 339–368. doi:10.2307/2206403. JSTOR2206403.
            • George J. Lankevich (1977), Howard B. Furer (ed.), Atlanta: a chronological & documentary history, 1813-1976, American Cities Chronology Series, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, ISBN0379006189
            • Ory Mazar Nergal, ed. (1980), "Atlanta, GA", Encyclopedia of American Cities, New York: E.P. Dutton, OL4120668M
            • Clarence N. Stone (1989). Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946-1988. Studies in Government and Public Policy. University Press of Kansas. ISBN0700604154 .
            • George Thomas Kurian (1994), "Atlanta, Georgia", World Encyclopedia of Cities, 1: North America, Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO (fulltext via Open Library)
            • Rebecca J. Dameron and Arthur D. Murphy (1997). "An International City Too Busy To Hate? Social And Cultural Change In Atlanta: 1970-1995". Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development. 26 (1): 43–69. JSTOR40553316.
            • Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, ed. (1999), "Atlanta", Africana: the Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, New York: Basic Civitas Books, p. 147+, OL43540M
            • "Georgia: Atlanta", USA, Australia: Lonely Planet, 1999, p. 541+, OL19682441M et al., eds (2000). Sprawl City: Race, Politics, and Planning in Atlanta. Washington, DC: Island Press.
            • Carole E. Scott and Richard D. Guynn (2000). "The Atlanta Streetcar Strikes". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 84 (3): 434–459. JSTOR40584340.

            Published in 21st century Edit

            • Larry Keating (2001). Atlanta: Race, Class And Urban Expansion. Temple University Press. ISBN978-1-4399-0449-7 .
            • Paul S. Boyer, ed. (2001). "Atlanta". Oxford Companion to United States History. Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0-19-508209-8 .
            • Richard Pillsbury, ed. (2006). "Atlanta". Geography. New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. 2. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 153. OCLC910189354.
            • David Goldfield, ed. (2007). "Atlanta, Georgia". Encyclopedia of American Urban History. Sage. pp. 50–52. ISBN978-1-4522-6553-7 .
            • Steve Goodson (2007). Highbrows, Hillbillies, and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930. University of Georgia Press. ISBN978-0-8203-2930-7 .
            • David L. Sjoquist, ed. (2009). Past Trends and Future Prospects of the American City: The Dynamics of Atlanta. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN978-0-7391-3537-2 . (About economic aspects of city)
            • "Atlanta", New Georgia Encyclopedia, Georgia Humanities Council
            • Digital Public Library of America. Items related to Atlanta, various dates.
            • Europeana. Items related to Atlanta, Georgia, various dates. , Emory University: Utopian Literary Club (Atlanta, Ga.) records, 1927-2004

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            45 years ago today, Atlanta Constitution editor was kidnapped, held for ransom

            ATLANTA &mdash It’s been more than 40 years since Reg Murphy had one of the most frightening experiences of his life.

            On Feb. 20, 1974, Murphy, the editor of The Atlanta Constitution, was kidnapped by 33-year-old William Williams.

            For 49 hours, Williams drove Murphy around Atlanta, stopping to call in ransom demands. At the time, Williams claimed to represent a right-wing militia group. He demanded $700,000 in exchange for Murphy.

            Williams played cat-and-mouse with FBI agents and newspaper executives as the city watched the episode play out on television.

            Managing editor Jim Minter ended up delivering the ransom money. Minter drove an open-air Jeep, wearing only slacks, gym shoes and a T-shirt, as the kidnapper had directed.

            Murphy was released, and within hours, Williams and his wife were caught.

            TRENDING STORIES:

            At his initial trial, Williams was sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping and extortion.

            In 1975, he was granted a new trial and found guilty again. This time, he was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison. He served nine years in federal prison before being paroled.

            In 2014, Williams called AJC managing editor Mark Waligore -- out of nowhere -- to talk about the incident.

            “I thought after 40 years, I should say something,” Williams told Waligore. “I’m still around and have no malice in my heart.”


            Editor of Atlanta Constitution is Kidnapped - 1974

            Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. His book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link:

            Justice on Fire

            On the night of November 29, 1988, near the impoverished Marlborough neighborhood in south Kansas City, an explosion at a construction site killed six of the city’s firefighters. It was a clear case of arson, and five people from Marlborough were duly convicted of the crime. But for veteran crime writer and crusading editor J. Patrick O’Connor, the facts—or a lack of them—didn’t add up. Justice on Fire is OConnor’s detailed account of the terrible explosion that led to the firefighters’ deaths and the terrible injustice that followed. Also available from Amazon


            Some of our most famous front pages

            The building at 143 Alabama Street was The Atlanta Constitution&aposs home from 1947-1953.

            The building at 143 Alabama Street was The Atlanta Constitution&aposs home from 1947-1953.

            THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1868 | A NEWSPAPER IS BORN: The June 16 inaugural edition of The Constitution has been lost over the years. The earliest complete edition in our files is from the third day, which featured a front page that was heavy on ads, public proclamations and who’s who among public servants. The list of officials includes legislators, policemen, city bureaucrats and the federal military officers who oversaw the state during the post-war years of Reconstruction. In the photo is Washington Street and City Hall (right) from a print of an 1875 Stereoscope.

            THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1868 | A NEWSPAPER IS BORN: The June 16 inaugural edition of The Constitution has been lost over the years. The earliest complete edition in our files is from the third day, which featured a front page that was heavy on ads, public proclamations and who’s who among public servants. The list of officials includes legislators, policemen, city bureaucrats and the federal military officers who oversaw the state during the post-war years of Reconstruction. In the photo is Washington Street and City Hall (right) from a print of an 1875 Stereoscope.

            THURSDAY, SEPT. 19, 1895 | THE COTTON STATES AND INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OPENS: The Exposition was a major coming-out party for Atlanta, not dissimilar to the role the Olympics would play a century later. The four-month-long event, which was staged at Piedmont Park, allowed the city to showcase its progress since the Civil War. Though President Grover Cleveland was on hand for the opening festivities – as noted in the paper’s first-day coverage – the Exposition is best remembered for Booker T. Washington’s controversial 𠇊tlanta Compromise” speech. The photo shows a football game between Auburn and UGA, which was among the events that happened at the Exposition.

            THURSDAY, SEPT. 19, 1895 | THE COTTON STATES AND INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OPENS: The Exposition was a major coming-out party for Atlanta, not dissimilar to the role the Olympics would play a century later. The four-month-long event, which was staged at Piedmont Park, allowed the city to showcase its progress since the Civil War. Though President Grover Cleveland was on hand for the opening festivities – as noted in the paper’s first-day coverage – the Exposition is best remembered for Booker T. Washington’s controversial 𠇊tlanta Compromise” speech. The photo shows a football game between Auburn and UGA, which was among the events that happened at the Exposition.

            TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 1912 | THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC: One of the world’s biggest stories of the 20th century happened at the worst possible time for The Constitution’s press deadlines. The doomed liner sank in the early morning hours of April 15, and it would take hours more for the news to reach offices of American newspapers. Still, The Constitution went all out on the story the next day, with the virtually the entire front page devoted to the tragedy. The sole exception: A short item about a rift in GOP politics. In the photo, the Titanic is seen sailing out of Southampton, England, at the beginning of its ill-fated voyage.

            TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 1912 | THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC: One of the world’s biggest stories of the 20th century happened at the worst possible time for The Constitution’s press deadlines. The doomed liner sank in the early morning hours of April 15, and it would take hours more for the news to reach offices of American newspapers. Still, The Constitution went all out on the story the next day, with the virtually the entire front page devoted to the tragedy. The sole exception: A short item about a rift in GOP politics. In the photo, the Titanic is seen sailing out of Southampton, England, at the beginning of its ill-fated voyage.

            WEDNESDAY, AUG. 18, 1915 | THE LEO FRANK LYNCHING: The Leo Frank lynching was a notorious killing that attracted national attention. Frank, an Atlanta factory superintendent who was Jewish, was lynched on Aug. 17 near where today’s I-75 crosses Roswell Road in Cobb County. Frank had been convicted of murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan following a shoddy investigation and amid a sea of anti-Semitic rhetoric. When Gov. John Slaton commuted the sentence from death to life imprisonment, a well-organized cabal of Marietta citizens broke into the jail and seized Frank. No one was ever punished for the act.

            WEDNESDAY, AUG. 18, 1915 | THE LEO FRANK LYNCHING: The Leo Frank lynching was a notorious killing that attracted national attention. Frank, an Atlanta factory superintendent who was Jewish, was lynched on Aug. 17 near where today’s I-75 crosses Roswell Road in Cobb County. Frank had been convicted of murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan following a shoddy investigation and amid a sea of anti-Semitic rhetoric. When Gov. John Slaton commuted the sentence from death to life imprisonment, a well-organized cabal of Marietta citizens broke into the jail and seized Frank. No one was ever punished for the act.

            TUESDAY, MAY 22, 1917 | THE GREAT FIRE OF ATLANTA : Most people associate Atlanta and fire with the damage wrought in 1864, but this blaze was far more destructive, especially for residents. The fire originated around noon on May 21 in the Old Fourth Ward, and burned for 11 hours. About 10,000 people were left homeless and the damage was estimated to reach $5 million — more than $100 million today. 𠇊 path of smoking ruins, six blocks in width and twenty-four in length, extends this morning from Decatur street to Vedado way,” the newspaper reported. A cause was never determined.

            TUESDAY, MAY 22, 1917 | THE GREAT FIRE OF ATLANTA : Most people associate Atlanta and fire with the damage wrought in 1864, but this blaze was far more destructive, especially for residents. The fire originated around noon on May 21 in the Old Fourth Ward, and burned for 11 hours. About 10,000 people were left homeless and the damage was estimated to reach $5 million — more than $100 million today. 𠇊 path of smoking ruins, six blocks in width and twenty-four in length, extends this morning from Decatur street to Vedado way,” the newspaper reported. A cause was never determined.

            SATURDAY, DEC. 16, 1939 | "GONE WITH THE WIND" PREMIERES HERE: The idea of a movie premiere being a big deal may seem strange in today’s multi-media, multi-digitized world. But "Gone With the Wind" was no ordinary film, not for that time, and certainly not for Atlanta. Margaret Mitchell’s novel had been an international best-seller, so the process of hitching the city’s wagon to her romanticized Civil War saga was a done deal by the time the eagerly anticipated film debuted at Loew’s Grand Theatre. Hollywood came to town in full force, and Atlanta’s society was waiting with open arms, with balls and cocktail parties throughout the week. At the center of it all was Mitchell, who began her literary career by working as a reporter for The Constitution’s then-rival, The Atlanta Journal.

            SATURDAY, DEC. 16, 1939 | "GONE WITH THE WIND" PREMIERES HERE: The idea of a movie premiere being a big deal may seem strange in today’s multi-media, multi-digitized world. But "Gone With the Wind" was no ordinary film, not for that time, and certainly not for Atlanta. Margaret Mitchell’s novel had been an international best-seller, so the process of hitching the city’s wagon to her romanticized Civil War saga was a done deal by the time the eagerly anticipated film debuted at Loew’s Grand Theatre. Hollywood came to town in full force, and Atlanta’s society was waiting with open arms, with balls and cocktail parties throughout the week. At the center of it all was Mitchell, who began her literary career by working as a reporter for The Constitution’s then-rival, The Atlanta Journal.

            FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1945 | PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT DIES IN WARM SPRINGS: The world’s biggest news story hasn’t always happened in The Constitution’s backyard, but in this case it did – or at least just down the street, 70 miles away in tiny Warm Springs, Ga. Franklin Roosevelt annually visited the therapeutic water of Warm Springs, but his sudden and unexpected death there on April 12 stunned the world, including the millions of Americans whom he led through the darkest days of the Great Depression and World War II. The only item on the front page that wasn’t devoted to FDR’s passing was the day’s weather forecast. In the photo, the train carrying Roosevelt&aposs body pulls into Atlanta&aposs Terminal Station on its way from Warm Springs to Washington D. C.

            FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1945 | PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT DIES IN WARM SPRINGS: The world’s biggest news story hasn’t always happened in The Constitution’s backyard, but in this case it did – or at least just down the street, 70 miles away in tiny Warm Springs, Ga. Franklin Roosevelt annually visited the therapeutic water of Warm Springs, but his sudden and unexpected death there on April 12 stunned the world, including the millions of Americans whom he led through the darkest days of the Great Depression and World War II. The only item on the front page that wasn’t devoted to FDR’s passing was the day’s weather forecast. In the photo, the train carrying Roosevelt&aposs body pulls into Atlanta&aposs Terminal Station on its way from Warm Springs to Washington D. C.

            SUNDAY, DEC. 8, 1946 | THE NATION’S DEADLIEST HOTEL FIRE: When Constitution editor Ralph McGill arrived at the Winecoff Hotel on the night of Dec. 7, 1946, the Peachtree Street building was fully illuminated by flames and firefighters’ searchlights. He watched as people jumped from windows, and his taut writing captured the horror of the moment. “The dead are all picked up by now, at 4:40. Those who leaped in alley and street are carried away, dead or wounded. Only the bloodstains on the big, round catch-nets testify with what violence their dead weight plunged down toward that dimly seen refuge.” It remains the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history, with 119 victims. Today, the Ellis Hotel is located at the site. The photo by Arnold Hardy shows a woman falling from an upper floor of the hotel. She was later identified as Daisy McCumber, one of the fire&aposs survivors.

            SUNDAY, DEC. 8, 1946 | THE NATION’S DEADLIEST HOTEL FIRE: When Constitution editor Ralph McGill arrived at the Winecoff Hotel on the night of Dec. 7, 1946, the Peachtree Street building was fully illuminated by flames and firefighters’ searchlights. He watched as people jumped from windows, and his taut writing captured the horror of the moment. “The dead are all picked up by now, at 4:40. Those who leaped in alley and street are carried away, dead or wounded. Only the bloodstains on the big, round catch-nets testify with what violence their dead weight plunged down toward that dimly seen refuge.” It remains the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history, with 119 victims. Today, the Ellis Hotel is located at the site. The photo by Arnold Hardy shows a woman falling from an upper floor of the hotel. She was later identified as Daisy McCumber, one of the fire&aposs survivors.

            THURSDAY, JULY 1, 1965 | ATLANTA GETS AN NFL TEAM: In 1964, the city and Fulton County built an $18-million stadium near Downtown Atlanta in hopes of attracting a Major League Baseball team. They found a taker in the Milwaukee Braves, but subsequent litigation held up the move until 1966. Meanwhile, the NFL showed little interest in having its first Southern franchise – until the rival AFL announced plans to put a team here, awarding a franchise to business executive Rankin Smith. Within a matter of days, the NFL offered a franchise to Smith, who then backed out of his AFL agreement. It took a whirlwind, but pro football finally had a home in the Southeast.

            THURSDAY, JULY 1, 1965 | ATLANTA GETS AN NFL TEAM: In 1964, the city and Fulton County built an $18-million stadium near Downtown Atlanta in hopes of attracting a Major League Baseball team. They found a taker in the Milwaukee Braves, but subsequent litigation held up the move until 1966. Meanwhile, the NFL showed little interest in having its first Southern franchise – until the rival AFL announced plans to put a team here, awarding a franchise to business executive Rankin Smith. Within a matter of days, the NFL offered a franchise to Smith, who then backed out of his AFL agreement. It took a whirlwind, but pro football finally had a home in the Southeast.

            FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 1968 | MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S ASSASSINATION: The murder of Atlanta’s most famous citizen happened on the evening of April 4, too late for the newspaper to get a reporter to the scene in Memphis in time for the next morning’s edition. However, The Constitution combined local reaction – including one of Ralph McGill’s best-remembered columns, and the news that President Johnson had called Coretta Scott King with his condolences – among the national wires stories on its front page.

            FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 1968 | MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S ASSASSINATION: The murder of Atlanta’s most famous citizen happened on the evening of April 4, too late for the newspaper to get a reporter to the scene in Memphis in time for the next morning’s edition. However, The Constitution combined local reaction – including one of Ralph McGill’s best-remembered columns, and the news that President Johnson had called Coretta Scott King with his condolences – among the national wires stories on its front page.

            WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17, 1973 | ATLANTA ELECTS ITS FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAYOR: Maynard Jackson Jr. became the first African-American to run a major Southern city with his victory in a 1973 run-off with the incumbent mayor, Sam Massell. The 35-year-old Jackson, the great-grandson of slaves, went on to become the dominant politician during one of Atlanta’s biggest periods of growth. He helped create an Atlanta that boasted the world&aposs busiest airport, allowed minorities to do business with the government, would go on to land the Summer Olympics, and in general attracted people to a black mecca. He served three terms, spanning 1974-82 and 1990-94.

            WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17, 1973 | ATLANTA ELECTS ITS FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAYOR: Maynard Jackson Jr. became the first African-American to run a major Southern city with his victory in a 1973 run-off with the incumbent mayor, Sam Massell. The 35-year-old Jackson, the great-grandson of slaves, went on to become the dominant politician during one of Atlanta’s biggest periods of growth. He helped create an Atlanta that boasted the world&aposs busiest airport, allowed minorities to do business with the government, would go on to land the Summer Olympics, and in general attracted people to a black mecca. He served three terms, spanning 1974-82 and 1990-94.

            TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 1974 | THE HAMMER PASSES THE BABE: The most cherished record in American sports was broken on the night of April 8, 1974, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth as baseball’s all-time home run king. The future Hall of Famer for the Braves had endured death threats as he drew closer to Ruth’s mark of 714 career homers.

            TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 1974 | THE HAMMER PASSES THE BABE: The most cherished record in American sports was broken on the night of April 8, 1974, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth as baseball’s all-time home run king. The future Hall of Famer for the Braves had endured death threats as he drew closer to Ruth’s mark of 714 career homers.

            WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3, 1976 | A GEORGIAN WINS THE WHITE HOUSE: “Jimmy Carter the peanut farmer” was the dismissive tag offered by some to Georgia’s former governor when he entered the 1976 Democratic primaries. Virtually unknown on the national stage, Carter was given no chance of emerging from a crowded field of Democratic contenders. However, Carter’s message of open government and being a D.C.-outsider played well in the wake of Watergate. Carter went on to defeat President Gerald Ford by a 297-240 margin in the Electoral College, though the final West Coast results came in too late to make the morning paper.

            WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3, 1976 | A GEORGIAN WINS THE WHITE HOUSE: “Jimmy Carter the peanut farmer” was the dismissive tag offered by some to Georgia’s former governor when he entered the 1976 Democratic primaries. Virtually unknown on the national stage, Carter was given no chance of emerging from a crowded field of Democratic contenders. However, Carter’s message of open government and being a D.C.-outsider played well in the wake of Watergate. Carter went on to defeat President Gerald Ford by a 297-240 margin in the Electoral College, though the final West Coast results came in too late to make the morning paper.

            MONDAY, NOV. 7, 1977 | THE TOCCOA FALLS TRAGEDY: When an earthen dam gave way after multiple days of heavy rain, most of the students at Toccoa Falls College, just a few thousand feet downstream, were asleep. The ongoing downpour likely muffled the sound of the 30-foot wall of water as it bore down on the campus at 1:30 a.m. It took emergency workers days to recover all victims, with the final death toll reaching 39.

            MONDAY, NOV. 7, 1977 | THE TOCCOA FALLS TRAGEDY: When an earthen dam gave way after multiple days of heavy rain, most of the students at Toccoa Falls College, just a few thousand feet downstream, were asleep. The ongoing downpour likely muffled the sound of the 30-foot wall of water as it bore down on the campus at 1:30 a.m. It took emergency workers days to recover all victims, with the final death toll reaching 39.

            SUNDAY, FEB. 28, 1982 | THE ATLANTA CHILD MURDERS: The most infamous serial killer case in the city&aposs history reached a sense of closure with the conviction and sentencing of Wayne Williams. From over 1979-1982, over 20 (the exact number remains a source of controversy) African-American children and young adolescents, most of them male, were murdered around metro Atlanta. The newspaper covered all aspects of this horrific story, from the often-frustrated police investigation, to the fear and anxiety that gripped the city.

            SUNDAY, FEB. 28, 1982 | THE ATLANTA CHILD MURDERS: The most infamous serial killer case in the city&aposs history reached a sense of closure with the conviction and sentencing of Wayne Williams. From over 1979-1982, over 20 (the exact number remains a source of controversy) African-American children and young adolescents, most of them male, were murdered around metro Atlanta. The newspaper covered all aspects of this horrific story, from the often-frustrated police investigation, to the fear and anxiety that gripped the city.

            WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19, 1990 | ATLANTA LANDS THE OLYMPICS: When Atlanta began its quest to host the 1996 Summer Olympics, you could count the number of people who thought it would succeed on Billy Payne&aposs right hand. All the same, for two years the AJC sent journalists worldwide to document and report on the city&aposs bid efforts. The Constitution celebrated with the rest of the region when the International Olympic Committee shocked the world by awarding the games to Atlanta.

            WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19, 1990 | ATLANTA LANDS THE OLYMPICS: When Atlanta began its quest to host the 1996 Summer Olympics, you could count the number of people who thought it would succeed on Billy Payne&aposs right hand. All the same, for two years the AJC sent journalists worldwide to document and report on the city&aposs bid efforts. The Constitution celebrated with the rest of the region when the International Olympic Committee shocked the world by awarding the games to Atlanta.

            SUNDAY, OCT. 29, 1995 | FINALLY, A PRO SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP: Sometimes a picture - aided by a really big headline - is worth a thousand words. Some thirty years after the Braves announced their move to Atlanta from Milwaukee, the team delivered the city&aposs first (and only, alas) world championship by beating the Cleveland Indians in Game 6 of the World Series.

            SUNDAY, OCT. 29, 1995 | FINALLY, A PRO SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP: Sometimes a picture - aided by a really big headline - is worth a thousand words. Some thirty years after the Braves announced their move to Atlanta from Milwaukee, the team delivered the city&aposs first (and only, alas) world championship by beating the Cleveland Indians in Game 6 of the World Series.

            SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2005 | THE FULTON COURTHOUSE KILLINGS: A day of horror unfolded in Fulton County&aposs judicial hallways when accused rapist Brian Nichols took a deputy&aposs gun and shot 3 people to death before fleeing (he killed a fourth person hours later). A massive manhunt ensued, which ended in Nichols&apos arrest the next day.

            SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2005 | THE FULTON COURTHOUSE KILLINGS: A day of horror unfolded in Fulton County&aposs judicial hallways when accused rapist Brian Nichols took a deputy&aposs gun and shot 3 people to death before fleeing (he killed a fourth person hours later). A massive manhunt ensued, which ended in Nichols&apos arrest the next day.

            WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29, 2014 | SNOWPOCALYPSE: The winter storm that paralyzed metro Atlanta with 2 inches of ice and snow left millions stranded in either their cars or homes -- much to the amusement of the rest of the country. At the AJC offices, journalists worked around the clock in covering the storm and its aftermath, some sleeping on makeshift bedding in the newsroom.

            WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29, 2014 | SNOWPOCALYPSE: The winter storm that paralyzed metro Atlanta with 2 inches of ice and snow left millions stranded in either their cars or homes -- much to the amusement of the rest of the country. At the AJC offices, journalists worked around the clock in covering the storm and its aftermath, some sleeping on makeshift bedding in the newsroom.

            THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015 | THE APS CHEATING SCANDAL: When the AJC first raised questions about the rapid improvement in test scores among Atlanta Public Schools, the newspaper received widespread blowback, and was accused of trying to undermine a nationally celebrated success story. Undeterred by the critics (a group that included many political and business leaders), the AJC continued to dig deeper, with the newspaper&aposs coverage ultimately leading to the conviction of APS administrators in what has been described is the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history.

            THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015 | THE APS CHEATING SCANDAL: When the AJC first raised questions about the rapid improvement in test scores among Atlanta Public Schools, the newspaper received widespread blowback, and was accused of trying to undermine a nationally celebrated success story. Undeterred by the critics (a group that included many political and business leaders), the AJC continued to dig deeper, with the newspaper&aposs coverage ultimately leading to the conviction of APS administrators in what has been described is the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history.

            A NOTE FROM EDITOR KEVIN RILEY

            When I came to Atlanta more than seven years ago to become editor of the newspaper, I knew of the storied tradition of The Atlanta Constitution.

            The newspaper was known for its history as an advocate for all of Atlanta&aposs citizens. Almost immediately upon my arrival, I read the biography of Ralph McGill, the famous editor of the Constitution who established its reputation during the Civil Rights era.

            As I turned each page, I became more honored to have found a place in the line of his successors.

            Today, as we celebrate the 150th birthday of The Atlanta Constitution, it&aposs tempting to revel in that part of our history - and to see that as the entirety of the story in the Constitution&aposs century and half of journalism.

            But, as always, there&aposs more to the story.

            To understand the Constitution&aposs tale requires a disquieting visit with some of Georgia&aposs most difficult history and a journey along the road of our state&aposs progression to some of its present-day challenges.

            And, I promise you, it&aposs a trip worth taking. The Constitution&aposs history is a big part of Atlanta&aposs story — and the newspaper was not always the positive force we are proud of today. Like Atlanta, it spent a long time finding its way.

            As recorded by the New Georgia Encyclopedia, the Constitution&aposs founding sounds routine:

            "The Constitution was founded in 1868 by Carey Wentworth Styles, an Atlanta lawyer and entrepreneur. He bought the Atlanta Daily Opinion, one of several newspapers serving the city&aposs 20,288 residents, and renamed it The Atlanta Constitution."

            The Atlanta Constitution set about publishing its first drafts of the state&aposs and city&aposs history, but its founding — in fact, its very name — reveals a point of view that its numerous courageous moments have long overshadowed.

            The name — "Constitution" — conjures a noble purpose and strikes a proud tone to modern readers. But on June 16, 1868, that name meant something very different. To grasp what was in that name, we must step back into the tumultuous times following the Civil War, when the country and Georgia experienced crises.

            First, the federal government in Washington had just three weeks earlier survived a near-fatal power struggle.

            The Republican-dominated Congress impeached President Andrew Johnson. There were strong disagreements about what to demand of southern states as they sought to rejoin the union.

            Johnson survived his trial in the Senate by just one vote, but the impeachment had created a fissure between the president and Congress.

            Johnson resisted enfranchisement of former slaves, playing to the southern Democrats who were part of his constituency. He vetoed legislation to give rights to blacks when Congress passed it.

            The Congressional Republicans demanded that southern states grant citizenship to former slaves and guarantee black men the right to vote.

            Blacks began to exercise their new freedom, and demanded to participate in politics. This gave rise to the Ku Klux Klan as white resistance grew.

            The southern states&apos leaders sought a return to the union, but imagined the South of old — a society that whites ruled, said Stan Deaton, senior historian at the Georgia Historical Society.

            "That black voters were entertained at all seemed absurd to them," Deaton said. "This was the world turned upside down."

            Among those insolent southern states was Georgia, where the federal military still intervened. Federal troops were ever-present in Georgia — and throughout the South — to guarantee rights to blacks.

            And Georgia was in political chaos.

            Gen. George Meade, the northern hero of the Battle of Gettysburg, oversaw the federal military district that included Georgia, Alabama and Florida. He was the all-powerful ruler of the subjugated former Confederate state. And in January of 1868, he removed the elected governor of Georgia for undermining efforts to grant blacks their rights.

            Meade then appointed a fellow U.S. general as governor.

            The federal government demanded that Georgia write a new constitution that included provisions enfranchising blacks.

            White leaders in Georgia saw the writing of that constitution as their job — to be done in the way they saw fit and without the federal government&aposs involvement — and as a job that excluded blacks.

            Deaton called Georgia&aposs political environment "a soup unlike any you can imagine."

            "The Atlanta Constitution is born of this tumult," he said.

            So the name "Constitution," was really a demand for ending federal military rule and giving Georgia self-determination of its government and laws — code for white domination.

            "There&aposs no other way to say it. The call was for a constitutional government that excluded blacks," said Deaton. "Its readers would&aposve understood."

            By its name, the Constitution aligned itself with Southern Democrats and against Republicans.

            Two of its early leaders also served as mayors of Atlanta, and the newspaper eventually moved away from its anti-Reconstruction stance, as a number of newspapers fought for dominance in Atlanta — including The Atlanta Journal, which came along in 1883.

            One of Georgia&aposs most famous names joined The Atlanta Constitution in 1876. Henry Grady brought a new approach to the newspaper&aposs journalism. He provided its readers with stories from around the country, and he also wrote about the south for northern newspapers.

            Grady was progressive and the first to position the Constitution as a newspaper of national scope and reputation.

            "Grady, the &aposSpokesman of the New South,&apos served as managing editor for The Atlanta Constitution in the 1880s," according to The New Georgia Encyclopedia. "A member of the &aposAtlanta Ring&apos of Democratic political leaders, Grady used his office and influence to promote a New South."

            Grady was successful at convincing investors to look south for industrial growth and established Atlanta&aposs reputation as the key city of the region.

            But that New South still had a legacy with which to contend.
            "In numerous Constitution editorials Grady claimed that African Americans enjoyed &aposfair treatment&apos in Georgia and throughout the South," said the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

            Despite Grady&aposs characterizations, blacks in Georgia didn&apost enjoy full citizenship rights — and wouldn&apost for decades.

            Grady died unexpectedly on December 23, 1889. He was just 39.

            Clark Howell was the next great figure in the Constitution&aposs history, taking charge of the newspaper his father owned in 1897.

            The New Georgia Encyclopedia gives this concise description of Howell&aposs journalistic leadership:

            "He campaigned against the state&aposs notorious convict lease system, supported Atlanta&aposs acceptance of evacuees from a yellow fever epidemic in several southern states and stood with the governor when he vetoed a bill outlawing football at UGA in the wake of a player&aposs death."

            Also a politician, Howell served as a state legislator.

            He lost a bitter battle for governor in 1906 to Hoke Smith, who was a former owner of The Atlanta Journal.

            "(His opponent) was more strident in his opposition to suffrage for blacks than Howell and won handily," according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

            In 1929, a young journalist from Tennessee would arrive in the Constitution&aposs newsroom. He was hired in the sports department, a modest opportunity that would belie his future as one of Georgia&aposs great historical figures and reformers. Ralph McGill, nine years later, would be named the newspaper&aposs top editor.

            McGill&aposs legendary tenure at the Constitution would include a Pulitzer Prize and the writing of more than 10,000 columns, most of which appeared on the front page.

            As the editor of one of the South&aposs most important newspapers, he faced down harsh criticism as he challenged the treatment of blacks and segregationist laws.

            He presented his views to southerners as a southerner. He wrote a column every day — but he mixed in other stories and topics instead of writing about racial issues all the time.

            I spoke to Leonard Ray Teel, McGill&aposs biographer and a professor at Georgia State University, for a column I wrote in 2011.

            "McGill broke the silence" about the racial situation in the South, he said. "He was a southerner, which meant he was a traitor" to those who held segregationist or racist views.
            But what made McGill so effective, according to Teel was his ability to tell stories.

            "He would achieve his goal by telling a story," he said. "He was a good man who had a wonderful ability to tell a story.

            "People read McGill whether they liked him or not," Teel said.
            Many people didn&apost like McGill, who routinely received threatening letters, as he established himself as "The Conscience of the South," and the Constitution as one of the country&aposs leading journalistic voices.

            McGill would serve as an important mentor, including to Celestine Sibley, whom he appointed as one of the newspaper&aposs first female editors.

            He would eventually be named publisher of the newspaper, and the legendary Eugene Patterson would fill the role of editor.
            By that time the Constitution and Journal were part of the same company, our current owners, Cox Enterprises.

            Over time, changes to the media business and the economics of the newspaper industry would result in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

            McGill and those who followed set the newspaper on a course that still guides us. My reading of McGill&aposs biography reminded me that we, like him, must confront the difficult issues of our time.

            In retrospect and from afar, McGill seems brilliant.
            But upon a closer look in the pages of his biography, I met a man who was persistent, hard-working and thoughtful — wrestling each day with how to make Atlanta and Georgia a better place through his work.

            You can see that in our commitment to investigative reporting, and to holding public officials accountable.

            And you can see it as we consistently cover racial issues in our community and country. Race, and Atlanta&aposs history with it, remains one of the important issues of our time — just as was 150 years ago.

            The Constitution&aposs growth and change through its history embodies the history of Atlanta. Its story, with all of its challenges, faults and accomplishments, is also a part of Atlanta&aposs story. It seems that Atlanta has always known it would be one of the country&aposs leading cities.

            You will see that in the remarkable collection of front pages from The Atlanta Constitution published in this special keepsake edition.

            The newspaper has been alongside our town through a lot of good and bad days, and by reaching into its history, the stories of Atlanta and Georgia unfold. And they remind us of the progress we&aposve made.


            Contents

            The Taylor-Grady House is located in central Athens, at the northwest corner of Prince and Grady Avenues, set on a generously sized landscaped lot. It is a rectangular two-story wood frame structure, with a hip roof that is obscured by a parapet-like entablature that wraps around three sides. The roof extends beyond the main bulk of the house on those three sides to form a gallery, which is supported by thirteen massive fluted Doric columns. The building interior follows a center-hall plan, and retains a significant amount of interior finishes, including woodwork, plaster, and fireplace mantels. [1]

            The house was built in the mid-1840s for General Robert Taylor, an Irish immigrant, plantation owner, and leader of the state militia. In 1863 the house was purchased by William S. Grady, who lived here with his family until 1872. Grady's son Henry was at that time a child, but harbored fond memories of the house. Grady achieved national prominence as the managing editor of the Atlanta Constitution, which became a major regional newspaper during his tenure. In 1886, he gave a widely reprinted speech urging harmonious relations between northern and southern states, and encouraging northern investment to industrialize the South. Grady is sometimes credited with promoting the phrase "New South" as a way to express these notions about the South. [1]

            The house was purchased by the City of Athens in 1966, [1] and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. [3] The Junior League of Athens maintains the house, which is open for rental for special occasions and for tours.


            Atlanta Constitution editor is kidnapped - HISTORY

            The vision of a “New South” was heralded by southern landowners, entrepreneurs, and newspaper editors in the decades following the Confederacy’s defeat in 1865 and the abolition of racial slavery across the South. These “New South” boosters argued that, with its plantation economy destroyed by the Civil War and Reconstruction, the South would develop a new economy more attuned to the industrial capitalism that defined the rest of the American economy. Atlanta Constitution editor Henry Grady was the leading exponent of a “New South” based on industrial development, giving speeches throughout the country and writing articles and editorials in his newspaper. Both of the following speeches by Grady—one given in Boston in 1889, the other in New York in 1886—conveyed not only the message of industrialization as a panacea, but also Grady’s fierce regional pride and his general moderation on racial issues, which were becoming increasingly contentious in these years.

            Henry Grady to the Bay State Club of Boston, 1889

            I attended a funeral once in Pickens county in my State. . . . This funeral was peculiarly sad. It was a poor “one gallus” fellow, whose breeches struck him under the armpits and hit him at the other end about the knee—he didn’t believe in decollete clothes. They buried him in the midst of a marble quarry: they cut through solid marble to make his grave and yet a little tombstone they put above him was from Vermont. They buried him in the heart of a pine forest, and yet the pine coffin was imported from Cincinnati. They buried him within touch of an iron mine, and yet the nails in his coffin and the iron in the shovel that dug his grave were imported from Pittsburg. They buried him by the side of the best sheep-grazing country on the earth, and yet the wool in the coffin bands and the coffin bands themselves were brought from the North. The South didn’t furnish a thing on earth for that funeral but the corpse and the hole in the ground. There they put him away and the clods rattled down on his coffin, and they buried him in a New York coat and a Boston pair of shoes and a pair of breeches from Chicago and a shirt from Cincinnati, leaving him nothing to carry into the next world with him to remind him of the country in which he lived, and for which he fought for four years, but the chill of blood in his veins and the marrow in his bones.

            Now we have improved on that. We have got the biggest marble-cutting establishment on earth within a hundred yards of that grave. We have got a half-dozen woolen mills right around it, and iron mines, and iron furnaces, and iron factories. We are coming to meet you. We are going to take a noble revenge, as my friend, Mr. Carnegie, said last night, by invading every inch of your territory with iron, as you invaded ours twenty-nine years ago.

            To the New England Club in New York, 1886

            We have established thrift in city and country. We have fallen in love with work. We have restored comfort to homes from which culture and elegance never departed. We have let economy take root and spread among us as rank as the crabgrass which sprung from Sherman’s cavalry camps, until we are ready to lay odds on the Georgia Yankee as he manufactures relics of the battlefield in a one-story shanty and squeezes pure olive oil out of his cotton seed, against any down-easter that ever swapped wooden nutmegs for flannel sausage in the valleys of Vermont. Above all, we know that we have achieved in these “piping times of peace” a fuller independence for the South than that which our fathers sought to win in the forum by their eloquence or compel in the field by their swords.

            It is a rare privilege, sir, to have had part, however humble, in this work. Never was nobler duty confided to human hands than the uplifting and upbuilding of the prostrate and bleeding South—misguided, perhaps, but beautiful in her suffering, and honest, brave and generous always. In the record of her social, industrial and political illustration we await with confidence the verdict of the world.

            But what of the negro? Have we solved the problem he presents or progressed in honor and equity toward solution? Let the record speak to the point. No section shows a more prosperous laboring population than the negroes of the South, none in fuller sympathy with the employing and land-owning class. He shares our school fund, has the fullest protection of our laws and the friendship of our people. Self-interest, as well as honor, demand that he should have this. Our future, our very existence depend upon our working out this problem in full and exact justice. We understand that when Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation, your victory was assured, for he then committed you to the cause of human liberty, against which the arms of man cannot prevail—while those of our statesmen who trusted to make slavery the corner-stone of the Confederacy doomed us to defeat as far as they could, committing us to a cause that reason could not defend or the sword maintain in sight of advancing civilization.

            Had Mr. Toombs said, which he did not say, “that he would call the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker Hill,” he would have been foolish, for he might have known that whenever slavery became entangled in war it must perish, and that the chattel in human flesh ended forever in New England when your fathers—not to be blamed for parting with what didn’t pay—sold their slaves to our fathers—not to be praised for knowing a paying thing when they saw it. The relations of the southern people with the negro are close and cordial. We remember with what fidelity for four years he guarded our defenseless women and children, whose husbands and fathers were fighting against his freedom. To his eternal credit be it said that whenever he struck a blow for his own liberty he fought in open battle, and when at last he raised his black and humble hands that the shackles might be struck off, those hands were innocent of wrong against his helpless charges, and worthy to be taken in loving grasp by every man who honors loyalty and devotion. Ruffians have maltreated him, rascals have misled him, philanthropists established a bank for him, but the South, with the North, protests against injustice to this simple and sincere people. To liberty and enfranchisement is as far as law can carry the negro. The rest must be left to conscience and common sense. It must be left to those among whom his lot is cast, with whom he is indissolubly connected, and whose prosperity depends upon their possessing his intelligent sympathy and confidence. Faith has been kept with him, in spite of calumnious assertions to the contrary by those who assume to speak for us or by frank opponents. Faith will be kept with him in the future, if the South holds her reason and integrity.

            But have we kept faith with you? In the fullest sense, yes. When Lee surrendered—I don’t say when Johnson surrendered, because I understand he still alludes to the time when he met General Sherman last as the time when he determined to abandon any further prosecution of the struggle—when Lee surrendered, I say, and Johnson quit, the South became, and has since been, loyal to this Union. We fought hard enough to know that we were whipped, and in perfect frankness accept as final the arbitrament of the sword to which we had appealed. The South found her jewel in the toad’s head of defeat. The shackles that had held her in narrow limitations fell forever when the shackles of the negro slave were broken. Under the old regime the negroes were slaves to the South the South was a slave to the system. The old plantation, with its simple police regulations and feudal habit, was the only type possible under slavery. Thus was gathered in the hands of a splendid and chivalric oligarchy the substance that should have been diffused among the people, as the rich blood, under certain artificial conditions, is gathered at the heart, filling that with affluent rapture but leaving the body chill and colorless.

            The old South rested everything on slavery and agriculture, unconscious that these could neither give nor maintain healthy growth. The new South presents a perfect democracy, the oligarchs leading in the popular movement—a social system compact and closely knitted, less splendid on the surface, but stronger at the core—a hundred farms for every plantation, fifty homes for every palace—and a diversified industry that meets the complex need of this complex age.

            The new South is enamored of her new work. Her soul is stirred with the breath of a new life. The light of a grander day is falling fair on her face. She is thrilling with the consciousness of growing power and prosperity. As she stands upright, full-statured and equal among the people of the earth, breathing the keen air and looking out upon the expanded horizon, she understands that her emancipation came because through the inscrutable wisdom of God her honest purpose was crossed, and her brave armies were beaten.


            The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

            Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

            The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, morning daily newspaper published in Atlanta, Ga., and based largely on the former Atlanta Constitution following its merger with the Atlanta Journal in 2001. The Constitution had been counted among the great newspapers of the United States, and it came to be regarded as the “voice of the New South,” thanks to a succession of outstanding editors: Henry W. Grady, Clark Howell, and Ralph McGill.

            The Constitution was founded in 1868, when Carey Wentworth Styles, James H. Anderson, and W.A. Hemphill purchased the Atlanta Daily Opinion and renamed it. Its emergence early in the Reconstruction era, and the general balance of its coverage, soon defined the Constitution as a leader among Southern papers. In the late 1870s and the 1880s, the Constitution became famous for the editorials of Henry W. Grady and for the breadth of its coverage. In the same period, the Constitution developed an outstanding staff of correspondents. The paper was liberal in its editorial policies from the time of Grady, although it did, under the editorship of Clark Howell, support American intervention in Cuba before the Spanish-American War of 1898. Howell was the son of Evan P. Howell, president and editor in chief from 1876 to 1897, and was in turn succeeded by his son, Clark Howell, Jr., in 1938. In the early 20th century the senior Clark Howell won wide political influence, and Joel Chandler Harris of the Constitution gained national fame as a political columnist. Ralph McGill became executive editor in 1938 and editor in 1942. Under McGill the Constitution fought McCarthyism in the early 1950s and racism in the next two decades.

            In 1950 the paper was purchased by James Middleton Cox, who already owned the evening Atlanta Journal (founded in 1883) and other papers. The Constitution continued its nonsensational coverage of local, national, and international news and its informed editorial comment. For many years a merged paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was published on weekends until the two papers were fully merged in 2001.

            This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.


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