‘Gone With the Wind’ manuscript found for 75th anniversary

Well, I declare. Someone has found part of the “Gone With the Wind” history that scholars had considered gone forever. And just in time for the 75th anniversary of the novel’s publication.

Here’s how the New York Times writes about the news:

Long thought to have been burned the way the North set fire to the cotton at Tara, the final typescript of the last four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” has turned up in the Pequot Library in this Yankee seaport town. If not quite a spoil of war, the manuscript is a relic of some publishing skirmishes, and it will go on exhibit starting on Saturday, before traveling to Atlanta, Mitchell’s hometown, in time for the 75th anniversary of the novel’s publication in June.

On the same day that I read about this discovery, I made a discovery of my own. I realized only by accident that Margaret Mitchell’s last home was in an apartment building designed by Neil Reid at 1 S. Prado. A plaque outside the building, sitting just across from the entrance to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, tells visitors that Mitchell’s housekeeper burned the GWTW manuscript in the boiler room at the author’s request, upon her death. [Read more…]

Remembering Geraldine Ferraro’s Cherry Street campaign

I spent a few minutes reading the long list of Geraldine Ferraro‘s accomplishments after hearing of her death today and realized that I barely knew her. Many people probably didn’t and that’s understandable. But for many years I felt a special connection to Ferraro and Walter Mondale, the man who picked her to be the first female VP candidate on a major ticket.

I’m still proud to say I was the campaign manager for Mondale/Ferraro at Cherry Street Elementary School in Troy, Alabama. I don’t remember the final count but I clearly remember that my campaign failed. We lost in a landslide. It seems there was nothing I could do in fifth grade to turn tide that had built nationally for the Reagan/Bush ticket. [Read more…]

Exploring the Southern roots of public relations, Part 2

Ivy Ledbetter LeeAs I mentioned Monday, Ivy Ledbetter Lee is not a role model and he’s far from perfect. But the Georgia native did play an influential role in establishing the field of public relations. And he created some of the PR tactics still used today.

Lee, the son of a Methodist minister, began his studies at Emory College here in Atlanta. He graduated from Princeton and worked as a stringer for several New York newspapers, including the New York Times.

Lee started his public relations career in 1903. He was hired by the Citizens’ Union as a publicity manager. The title sounds very contemporary but the job then was much different than what you would imagine today. At the time, a publicity manager would be a low-level position with little power or influence. Almost immediately, Lee developed an unusual report with his bosses and news reporters.

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Exploring the Southern roots of public relations, Part 1

Historic Marker, Cedartown Georgia

Public Relations has deep roots in the Deep South.

Not many people remember the Georgia native who helped give birth to the modern era of PR. And many of the people who do remember the legend of Ivy Ledbetter Lee prefer not to talk about him.

I’ll break that silence today.

Hopefully Lee’s career will provide lessons that are still relevant today.

I need to immediately address some of the baggage that Lee carries. The first is that after a long career as the best in his field, Lee died in disgrace.

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