PEACHTREE CITY, USA – For Black History Month, we look at the contributions of the late mayor of Atlanta, Maynard H. Jackson, a namesake of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Mayor Jackson was instrumental in shaping the hometown airport of Aventure Aviation into the world’s busiest.
The airport is named after two influential Atlanta mayors. First, to honor Mayor William B. Hartsfield (in office 1942–1962) after his death in 1971. Then, to honor Mayor Maynard Jackson (in office 1974–1982), after his death in 2003.
Born into a family that valued education and political activism, Mayor Jackson became the first Black mayor of Atlanta (or any major city in the U.S. South) when elected at the age of 35. One of his major achievements was to modernize and expand the Atlanta airport into a major transportation hub, “ahead of schedule and under budget.” The airport’s current domestic terminal originally opened in 1980, when Jackson was mayor.
A plaque at the airport honoring Jackson reads: “As Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, he worked to ensure equal opportunity for all to participate in the city’s growth and prosperity. That he was instrumental in the expansion of the airport and its transformation into the world’s busiest, in acknowledgment of his love of and commitment to our city, this airport shall be known as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.”