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This Day in Georgia History

December 31, 1881

International Cotton Exposition Closed

To view a drawing of the plans for the Exposition, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

The International Cotton Exposition - the first of three major expositions held in Atlanta to promote the city, state, and region - closed. Opened on Oct. 5, 1881, the exposition was held in Oglethorpe Park, which was located on the W & A Railroad three miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.. Of the 1,113 exhibits on display, 301 were from Georgia and 7 from foreign countries. Almost 300,000 people attended the three-month exposition, and the show was judged a success on all counts. More importantly, the International Cotton Exposition brought cotton farmers, mill owners, and plant managers together to better understand the textile industry - from cotton seed to finished thread - and to view new technology and machinery. Cotton planters also were shown the opportunities for and advantages of diversification into other areas of agriculture. The International Cotton Exposition was also important for highlighting Atlanta’s growing importance as a transportation and manufacturing center.