Paris plane crash spurs cultural growth in Atlanta
Posted on May 31, 2012 at 10:23 AM
ATLANTA—Fifty years ago, more than 100 of Atlanta’s cultural leaders traveled to Europe to tour the sights and demonstrate the ascendant southern city’s commitment to culture.
It was 1962 and the city was thriving, but business and political leaders worried the growth wouldn’t continue if the city didn’t improve its arts scene. The city’s cultural development would be altered forever by the trip.
The group was on its way home June 3 when its chartered Air France plane crashed on takeoff at Orly Field in Paris, killing all but two flight attendants.
Out of the city’s grief grew a desire to memorialize the lost. That led to the establishment of what became the Woodruff Arts Center, which today is home to world-class cultural institutions.