A lecture and documentary screening highlighting the significance of the Dixie Highway will take place this Thursday, April 21, in the auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries beginning at 4 p.m.
Titled, “Driving Dixie: The Politics of Early Automobile Tourism,” Tammy Ingram, assistant professor at the College of Charleston, will deliver a talk focused on the ways that automobile tourism reshaped both the physical and political landscapes of the South, and Georgia in particular, from the 1910s through the 1930s. “I plan to examine both the effects of tourism on transportation policymaking in the state, and also the ways in which public enthusiasm for new highway projects and tourist dollars inspired businessmen and politicians to sell a very specific vision of the state,” said Ingram. A reception and book signing will follow at 5 p.m.
Ingram’s book Dixie Highway: Road Building and the Making of the Modern South, 1900-1930, is the first to examine the largely forgotten 6,000-mile network of roads that crisscrossed the South and Midwest from Lake Michigan to Miami Beach. Published in 2014, the book has been awarded an Excellence in Research Award by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council, and the 2015 Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award by the Georgia Historical Society.
At 6:30 p.m. Down the Dixie Highway, a one-hour documentary produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting will be screened followed by a Q&A session with filmmakers and producers. The documentary was produced in conjunction with the Dixie Highway Context Study, a project completed in 2015 to create a developmental history of this historic tourist highway. Funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the study included mapping each segment of the highway using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The ongoing exhibition, “Seeing Georgia: Changing Visions of Tourism in the Modern South,” on display in the Richard B. Russell Library Gallery through July 2016 inspired this event pairing. The exhibit investigates how the state transformed from a way station along the route to Florida into a popular tourist destination during the twentieth century. These events are co-sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Department of History at the University of Georgia. For more information contact Jan Hebbard at (706) 542-5788 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on parking, visit: http://www.libs.uga.edu/scl/visit/parking.html