Saturday, April 18, 2015

Atlanta Plane Crash of 1962

I am reading a really good novel that starts out with a real life plane crash in Orly, France in June 1962.  The crash was famous in its day as it was the most horrific plane disaster up to that time.  One person survived.  The plane, an Air France flight, was headed to Atlanta, the culmination of a month-long arts expedition for the art patrons of Atlanta. Even one entire family was wiped out.  Read about it here.

Some now refer to it as Atlanta's 9/11 and there is a good PBS documentary about the flight. A few members of the trip decided to stay in France or took separate planes home for various reasons and they are chronicled in the documentary.  Some very well known civic leaders perished.  See the documentary here.  The documentary is called The Day Atlanta Stood Still. Another very good article is here

Atlanta somehow rose from the ashes a second time (the first time being when Sherman burned it during the Civil War) and made the city into a arts capital for the South, which was what this group had intended to do. Few people today realize that lovely Rodin statue that sits in Atlanta was a gift from France in memory of the citizens who died that day on French soil.

It's funny how time enables us to forget big moments or tragedy. Over thirty children were orphaned that day in June.  How many lives were changed forever?  Many. 

The book is called The Swan House and if you love a good girly type novel set in the Deep South in 1962 you will enjoy it.

History is our only link to the past. We need to remember it and embrace it and learn from it.  Enjoy this beautiful Saturday!

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