Atlanta, Ga., April 4, 2017 – The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) recognized the late S. Truett Cathy’s legacy, his iconic chicken sandwich, and the 50th anniversary of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant today with the unveiling of a historical marker at the Dwarf House, in Hapeville, Georgia. The marker is part of the Georgia Historical Society’s Business History Initiative.
“In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the story of Georgia is largely a story of business, and how the businesses of this state are having an influence on the nation and on the world,” said Dr. Todd Groce, President of the Georgia Historical Society. “We recognize Chick-fil-A today, on this anniversary, for the role they have played in Georgia’s business history and its economic development.”
The atmosphere was more of a reunion as former Dwarf House employees and patrons joined the Cathy family and friends for the ceremony. In addition to Dr. Groce speakers for the day included Kevin Moss, General Manager of the Hapeville Dwarf House; Dan T. Cathy, Chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc.; The Honorable Alan Hallman, Mayor, City of Hapeville; Vince Dooley, Chairman of the GHS Board of Curators, and Advisory Board Member, Chick-fil-A Foundation.
“Chick-fil-A is not just a cultural icon, but an excellent example of the important role that Georgia has played in the history of American business and industry over the past century,” said Dooley. “It is a story of innovation responding to a changing world, and of a brave man who understood those changes well enough to create something new. Historical markers like this one ensure that it will always be a key part of our state’s richly diverse history.”
All on hand enjoyed a program of Q&A with Dan and Donald “Bubba” Cathy, moderated by Dr. Stan Deaton, the Dr. Elaine B. Andrews Distinguished Historian at the Georgia Historical Society, featuring stories and memories from growing up in the Chick-fil-A family. The marker was later unveiled by GHS board members along with members of the Cathy family, Chick-fil-A company representatives, current and former employees, and friends.
Each year the Georgia Historical Society selects iconic companies as honorees of the prestigious Georgia Business History Initiative. Through the Business History Initiative, GHS seeks to teach Georgia students, citizens, and tourists alike about the pivotal role of Georgia’s leading businesses in the economic, cultural, and social development of Georgia and the United States. Chick-fil-A joins previous BHI honorees The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, Georgia Power, Georgia World Congress Center Authority, Southern Company, United Distributors, and Waffle House.
As part of the Business History Initiative, the Georgia Historical Society will develop educational resources about the company to enrich student understanding of the role of Chick-fil-A as one of the businesses that built Georgia. These resources will include a company profile, case study, and classroom activities correlated to state and national performance standards and made available for classroom use.
The Historical Marker reads:
Chick-fil-A™ Founder S. Truett Cathy opened the Dwarf Grill (later renamed the Dwarf House) at this site on May 23, 1946. After years of trial and error, it is here that Cathy invented what is widely considered the first-ever fried chicken breast sandwich in the early 1960s. Cathy would go on to open the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967, pioneering the concept of in-mall restaurants. In addition to high-quality food, Chick-fil-A is known for its customer service philosophy, stewardship, philanthropy and community involvement. Each Chick-fil-A restaurant, independently owned and operated, serves the community in which it resides. Chick-fil-A restaurants are famously closed on Sundays, providing team members a day of rest. With thousands of restaurants nationwide, Chick-fil-A has grown to become one of the largest privately-held and family-owned restaurant chains in the U.S.
Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
To learn more visit georgiahistory.com.
The Georgia Historical Society has administered Georgia’s historical marker program since 1998, erecting over 250 new historical markers and maintaining over 2,100 older markers across Georgia on a wide variety of subjects. Now, online mapping tools allow you to design statewide driving routes based on historical markers, while mobile apps give information about markers nearby. Visit georgiahistory.com for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.