Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: 'Turning Wounds into Wisdom', Oprah

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OLA: 'Turning Wounds into Wisdom', Oprah

a giant Coke bottle stands as an ethereal symbol atop The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia
It was Oprah who once said…’turn wounds into wisdom’.  And that is what Georgia did, judging by the many great institutions it fostered out of the ravages of war, years of division, and adversity for its people. As we visited the following in Atlanta and Americus, Georgia we were greatly inspired. It was truly a different kind of sight-seeing.   
Center for Disease Control
Bill in a safe suit at Center for Disease Control
The world will forever be grateful for CDC. It was created as a US federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta in 1946.  CDC works to protect public health and safety.  Successful efforts to avert two world crises, tracing contaminated poliomyelitis vaccine to a California lab in 1955 and tracking the massive influenza epidemic of 1957, positioned the agency’s future as a leader in disease surveillance.
The CDC also played a key role in one of the greatest triumphs of public health, the eradication of smallpox in 1977 through an "eradication escalation" technique.  In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, it found the cause of Legionnaires disease and toxic-shock syndrome. In 1081 CDC successfully identified the fatal disease that was subsequently named acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). What a record in making the world a better place to live in!

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Martin Luther King's Tomb in the MLKJ National Historic Site
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) is the iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. A Baptist minister, King led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott sparked by Rosa Parks and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. The MLKJ National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia includes the museum, the adjacent Baptist church from which he preached, his home just a block away, and his tomb and eternal flame. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. No other American is so honored, not even Washington or Lincoln.

Cola Company
Taste-It Room with over 65 flavors of Coke for free tastes!
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation. Its flagship product Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia. Then the formula and brand were bought in 1889 by Asa Candler who incorporated The Coca-Cola Company in 1892. It now offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries and sells over 1.6 billion servings a day! It is the world’s best known brand.
The Coca-Cola Company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. And there it operates the World of Coca Cola, a complete museum with a 4D Theater featuring ‘The Secret Ingredient’, a Taste-It Room where you can taste 64 different coke flavors plus concoct your own, a Red Room with memorabilia over the years, have your picture taken with the Coke Polar Bear, a Room of Souvenirs, and a tour of the manufacturing/bottling process. It was such a fun museum for little Bill and Carol!

the CNN Center at 1 CNN Center
When I spent many a night in various hotels as part of my globe-trotting career in computers, CNN was my constant companion. I felt some excitement as I saw the familiar letters on the fa├žade of the CNN Center in Atlanta. CNN was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner, the first to provide 24-hour television news coverage and the first all-news television channel in the United States. As of 2010, CNN is available in over 100 million U.S. households, 890,000 American hotel rooms, and 212 countries. The proliferation of news channels over the years that followed CNN is testament to the service news channels provide.

the monument at Habitat's Global Discovery Center
Habitat for Humanity/Jimmy Carter
Habitat for Humanity is an international NGO devoted to building "simple, decent, and affordable" housing, a "Christian housing ministry." Its international headquarters is located in Americus, Georgia with the administrative headquarters in Atlanta, 1,500 US satellite offices and five area offices located around the world. Its mission is to "eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action."  Homes are built using volunteer labor and are sold at no profit for affordable monthly payments.
Jimmy Carter's boyhood home in Plains
I was general manager of MegaLink (the ATM consortium of banks in the Philippines) when my staff and I built a home for the Philippine Chapter of Habitat. Now, a Philippine nonprofit called Gawad Kalinga has become popular extending the Habitat vision to provide not just at cost homes but also funds and training for the establishment of livelihoods. I was inspired to see firsthand where Habitat started and to visit the nearby birthplace and boyhood home of Jimmy Carter who, at age 89, still goes on a Carter-Habitat project each year with a thousand or so volunteers to build homes.
the first Flatiron Building in America
These visits will keep Georgia in my mind…for a long, long time. And we even found two bonuses in Atlanta. The Flat Iron Building, the city’s second skyscraper, was completed in 1897 on a wedge-shaped block, five years before New York's own version, placing it on the National Register of Historic Places. Then Margaret Mitchell ‘s home (she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for Gone with the Wind, one of the most popular books of all time, selling more than 30 million copies) is very well maintained. The film adaptation of the book, released in 1939, became the highest-grossing film in the history of Hollywood, getting a record-breaking ten Academy Awards. 
Margaret Mitchell's home
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