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Do you keep hearing that T-SPLOST is like the Atlanta Airport?

Have you heard this story in your employee meetings or in a panel discussion?

“The passage of T-SPLOST is like the visionary work of former Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield who developed Atlanta as a major air travel hub. Hartsfield stood up to the opposition and held to his convictions to advance the airport and was voted out of office. But, he was a visionary.”

Do you want the real story?  It’s really very interesting and goes something like this:

From the Atlanta Airport website (www.atlanta-airport.com/Airport/ATL/Airport_History.aspx)

April 16, 1925

Mayor Walter A. Sims signs a five-year lease on an abandoned auto racetrack and commits the City to developing it into an airfield. As part of the agreement, this 287 acres of land is renamed Candler Field after its former owner’s family, including Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler. The infield of the old racetrack had been used as a landing site for many years prior to 1925.

From New Georgia Encyclopedia (www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-599)

In 1924 Hartsfield lost the first of only two elections when he was defeated in a race for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. In September 1925, however, he was reelected to the city council and subsequently became the first chairman of the aviation committee. When night flying grew popular in 1927, Hartsfield made sure the city installed beacon lights so that Candler Field could operate twenty-four hours a day. His enthusiasm for promoting Atlanta as an aviation center earned him the certificate of distinguished achievement awarded from the chamber of commerce in 1928 and the reputation as Atlanta’s “father of aviation.”

[Hartsfield did not become mayor until 1936, 11 years AFTER the airport was established.]

From Our Georgia History (www.ourgeorgiahistory.com/ogh/William_B._Hartsfield_loses_Atlanta_mayor%27s_race)

When the votes were counted for the Democratic Primary, William Hartsfield was in shock. The man who had brought the Gone With The Wind premiere to Atlanta less than a year before and who had turned a budget deficit into a significant surplus was defeated by Chamber of Commerce president Roy LeCraw, who squeaked by the incumbent mayor (Hartsfield) by campaigning on the issue of speed traps, which Hartsfield had been using to boost the city treasury.

Also from the Atlanta Aiport’s website under the 1940’s section

October, 1940

Atlanta was declared an air base by the U.S. Government.  Candler Field would double in size during World War II.

Back to the New Georgia Encyclopedia

After more than thirty years of public service, on June 7, 1961, Hartsfield announced he would not seek reelection. Following his retirement, he was named mayor emeritus of Atlanta. He became a consultant for the Coca-Cola Company, the Trust Company of Georgia, and the Georgia Power Company.

When you find the part about opposition to the airport or when you find the part about Hartsfield being defeated for Mayor over the airport, please send an email to info@traffictruth.net



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