On Feb. 6, a dozen genealogical researchers and serious history enthusiasts braved tornado watches, record rains and thunderstorms to attend an initial training program at the Jackson-Butts County Library on how to use the Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN) website.

Donnie Summerlin, a certified archivist and one of the creators of the site, presented sample searches and guidelines for how to search the site. Several newspapers published in Butts County are included on the site, including the current Progress-Argus up to 1977.

Summerlin delighted the attendees by quickly searching to see if the Beatles’ visit to Atlanta in 1965 had been covered in the Jackson Progress-Argus. Indeed, several young people from Jackson had attended the Beatles concert, including Elizabeth Freeman and Johnnie Carter, despite an editorial disparaging the quartet and their music by then-editor Doyle Jones.

The GHN project was sponsored by the Digital Library of Georgia in cooperation with University of Georgia and the Georgia Public Library Services.

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