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This Day in Georgia History

March 21, 1939

“Peach State” License Plate Authorized

At various times, Georgia has been labeled as the “Empire State of the South,” “Goober State,” “State of Adventure,” and of course “Peach State.” Interestingly, Georgia does not have an official nickname. However, the General Assembly came close to officially recognizing “Peach State” on this day in 1939 when Gov. E.D. Rivers signed legislation authorizing the State Revenue Commission to issue automobile license plates that “advertise, popularize, and otherwise promote Georgia as ‘The Peach State.’” Consequently, beginning in 1940, Georgia license plates included the phrase “Peach State.” During World War II (1942-46), the phrase was omitted, but reappeared from 1947 through 1970. Though “Peach State” has not appeared on plates since that time, since 1990 Georgia license plates have contained a color image of a peach. In 1995, as part of legislation designating the peach as Georgia’s official state fruit, the General Assembly a second time came close to recognizing “Peach State” as the state’s official nickname. In that act, first listed as justification for declaring the peach as the official state fruit is: “WHEREAS, Georgia is known throughout the world as the ‘Peach State’… .”