Chadwick Boseman stars in "42," the story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who grew up in south Georgia.
Experience Jackie Robinson's Story in Georgia
Luther Williams Field
This minor league baseball stadium built in 1929 in Macon is actually the second oldest of its kind in the United States. Luther Williams Field is located within Central City Park, home to the International Cherry Blossom Festival and Macon’s first public park. Built for the Macon Peaches, the field was used continuously from 1929 to the 1980s and for later franchises until the mid-2000s. The black iron gate welcomes visitors to the original grandstand where generations of fans sat. Notable players that visited Williams Field include Pete Rose, Chipper Jones and Vince Coleman. The field makes a stately appearance in "42," doubling as old Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, N.J., where Robinson played his first regular season AAA International League game in 1946.
A Macon favorite since 1984, Natalia’s is named for Natalia Del Basso Orsini, a native of Italy’s Abruzzo region. Her menu includes traditional fare from her home country and unique dishes that are her creations. Risotto del giorno, veal scallopini, and sole are among the favorites. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list with bottles from Italy and beyond. Finish your meal with one of Natalia’s desserts, like tiramisu or chocolate mousse. Actor Harrison Ford dined here during the filming of "42."
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
While Jackie Robinson is certainly one of Georgia’s most well-known sports legends, you’ll find many more at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon. The largest state sports museum in the nation, all sports and levels are honored here. It has more than 14,000 square feet of exhibits, including panels on the state’s memorable sports rivalries, the 1996 Centennial Olympics, and the annual Masters golf tournament. Notable inductees into the Hall of Fame include Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Vince Dooley, and, of course, Jackie Robinson.
Downtown Macon & the Macon Welcome Center
Any visit to downtown Macon should include a stop at the Welcome Center, where you can gather information on the attractions and tours of the area. Browse the downtown shops and restaurants before you explore further. Learn about the 17,000 year old Native American history at the Ocmulgee National Monument. Macon boasts one of the largest collections of African American art in the world at the Tubman Museum. See Central City Park, the city’s largest, where the famous International Cherry Blossom Festival takes place. And, of course, you can’t go to Macon without honoring the city’s musical influences, especially at the Otis Redding statue. During the filming of "42," downtown Macon was blasted back to the 1940s, complete with repainted storefronts and early model cars lining Cherry and Second streets.
Called the “crown jewel of downtown Macon,” Terminal Station was built in 1916 for the 100 or so train arrivals daily to the city. It was built by Alfred T. Fellheimer, known as the man who designed New York City’s Grand Central Station. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it closed in 1975 but was purchased in 1982. In 2010, it was fully restored to be used as an event facility and still has the “Colored Waiting Room” signs to remind visitors of the history. Terminal Station made its film debut in "42" as an airport.
Right before crossing the Georgia border into Florida, you’ll find the small town of Cairo, pronounced Kay-Roh, where Jackie Robinson was born. The town, which dates back to 1870, has a number of small museums, festivals, shops and restaurants. Locals love what’s known as “The Hospitality City” for its friendliness and amenities. But Robinson isn’t the only famous native son. Olympian basketball player Teresa Edwards, football player Bobby Walden, and musician Mickey Thomas all hailed from the seat of Grady County.
Albany Civil Rights Institute
Many don’t know about the impact the South Georgia town of Albany had on the Civil Rights Movement, but it’s detailed in the Albany Civil Rights Institute. Located in the restored 1906 Old Mount Zion Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke, the museum incorporates photographs, artifacts and oral histories to share the story of civil rights in the South. An important exhibit tells of the nearby Leesburg Stockade.
Center for Civil and Human Rights
Set in the museum corridor of Centennial Olympic Park, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is an essential stop for a trip to Atlanta, teaching visitors about the Civil Rights Movement and modern movements. “Rolls Down Like Water” tells of Atlanta and the South’s importance to the movement while “Spark of Conviction” describes the humans rights abuses that face different communities worldwide. Interactive exhibits use images, sound and artifacts to tell these stories. The center also has an exhibit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s writings from his time at Morehouse and a changing exhibit.