ATLVault: June 3, 1962, the day Atlanta stood still

A deadly plane crash in Orly, France, 61 years ago devastated Atlanta’s arts community, a tragedy still being felt today.
ATLVault: June 3, 1962, the day Atlanta stood still
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 8:38 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On June 3, 1962, many of Atlanta’s civic and cultural leaders were returning from a museum tour of Europe sponsored by the Atlanta Art Association when their chartered Boeing 707 crashed upon takeoff at Orly Field near Paris, France.

Of the 122 passengers that died, 106 were Atlantans (eight crew members also died; two stewardesses sitting in the tail section survived). In an instant the core of Atlanta’s arts community was gone. Thirty-three children and young adults lost both parents in the crash.

Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. traveled to Paris to assist with the recovery efforts.

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Hala Moddelmog is the current president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, which was born out of that tragedy, 61 years ago.

ATLVault is a digital series of articles and podcasts that bring Atlanta’s history to life.

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