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11 years that were worse than '08


1838: More than 13,000 Cherokee are rounded up and forcibly marched out of North Georgia as part of an ethnic cleansing program given the PR-friendly name Trail of Tears.

1861: The Secession Convention in Milledgeville votes 208 to 89 in favor of making Georgia the fourth state to leave the Union.

1864: Prior to his final march to Savannah, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman drops a match in Atlanta, smoldering the city.

1906: White Atlantans embark on a three-day race riot, trashing black-owned businesses and killing dozens of African-American residents, proving some people weren't yet too busy to hate.

1915: After being convicted of murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan, Leo Frank is lynched by a mob of angry Mariettans, ruining the city's hope of becoming a stop on the Borscht Belt circuit.

1936: Gainesville is leveled by twin tornadoes. Already struggling from a boll weevil epidemic, a ruinous drought and the Great Depression, Georgia adopts a new tourism slogan: "Misery loves company!"

1946: In what was one of the worst fire tragedies in U.S. history, 119 people die when downtown Atlanta's Winecoff Hotel burns.

1962: More than 100 Atlantans – including many of our city's cultural leaders and patrons of the arts – are killed when their plane crashes on takeoff at Orly Airport in Paris.

1968: Atlanta's most celebrated native son, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is assassinated in Memphis.

1981: The tally of victims of the infamous Atlanta Child Murderer reaches 29 – and 23-year-old Wayne Williams is arrested and indicted for some of the killings.

1991: The movies Freejack and RoboCop III are shot in Atlanta.

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