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This Day in Georgia History

March 02, 1950

Buford Dam Groundbreaking

Groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted for construction of Buford Dam, the key element in creating what would become Lake Lanier. After Georgia’s congressional delegation obtained loans of $250,00 in 1947 and $450,000 in 1948 for construction of a dam and lake, Congress appropriated $750,000 for the project in 1949. The idea of a lake and dam north of Atlanta traced to Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield, who was interested in controlling downstream flooding, a reliable source of drinking water, hydroelectric power, and a lake for recreation purposes. Eventually, $45 million in federal funds went into creation of Buford Dam and Lake Lanier.