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This Day in Georgia History

September 29, 1934

Public Housing Projects Began

U.S. Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes, who also served as Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s public works administrator, arrived by an early Saturday morning train in Atlanta to inaugurate the Techwood and University Homes public housing projects. Proceeding to the Atlanta University area, Ickes threw the switch igniting dynamite that blew up two shanties. Later that morning, he took a similar action to level some slum housing in an area known as Tech Flats, which was located near Georgia Tech. Between the two detonations, Ickes told a national NBC-radio audience that the two Atlanta slum-clearing projects - which would be followed by the first federally supported public housing in the nation - represented “a milestone in the social history of America.” And, indeed, similar New Deal public housing projects were launched in 36 other cities across the country.