People piled into the Woodruff Library Wednesday to celebrate the birthday of a man they say was one of Atlanta’s greatest mayors.

Mayor Kasim Reed, was joined by Clayton County Commissioner Eldrin Bell, and campaign manager Kevin Ross to honor Maynard Jackson on his birthday. An exhibit of Jackson’s career as Mayor of Atlanta is now on display at the library. The late mayor was known as a driving force in the city. He was an advocate for affirmative action leading to more diversity among the city’s workforce.  Mayor Reed says Maynard Jackson influenced his interest in politics.

Reed was just a teen when Jackson served as Mayor. The Maynard Jackson exhibition will feature many photographs, documents, and
artifacts from the Maynard Jackson Mayoral Administrative Records collection. The exhibition explores Mayor Maynard Jackson’s rise to prominence as the first African-American mayor in a major Southern metropolitan city. Jackson’s fascinating, complex, and transformative political career was shaped within the context of strong family values that had deep roots in the Atlanta University Center, and particularly his alma mater, Morehouse College.   Some noteworthy activities documented within the collection are Jackson’s accomplishments as related to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and mass transit expansion and development, as well as his involvement in Atlanta being the host city for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Also, a sizeable amount of materials in the exhibit provide insight into the tragic Atlanta Child Murders of 1980-1981. Jackson donated his papers prior to his death.


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