For those of us who call Walton Gas our work home, 2002 will always be remembered as the year of the company’s founding. But the year was memorable for many other reasons, too.

Most notably, 2002 was a time of recovery for all Americans as we suffered the aftershocks of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We became comfortable with a more guarded, new normal in many aspects of life. But we didn’t forget how to laugh, cheer and explore new things the year brought our way.

We’re rewinding the years to take a look at the newsworthy events, trends and products that shaped the year.

To celebrate Walton Gas’s 20th anniversary, we’re rewinding the years to take a look at the newsworthy events, trends and products that shaped the year in Georgia and around the nation.


  • Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for dedicating his life to promoting peace and democracy, and working to advance human rights and social issues.
  • The new year begins with a snowstorm that dumps 4.6 inches of snow on north Georgia within 24 hours.
  • A fog-shrouded section of Interstate 75 near Ringgold is the site of an 87-vehicle pileup that kills five. It is recorded as the worst traffic accident in Georgia history.
  • Georgians use electronic voting machines for the first time during the November elections.
  • Georgia voters elect George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III as the state’s 81st governor.
  • Georgia is among 17 states hit during the deadly Veterans Day Weekend Tornado Outbreak.
  • Tax incentives approved by the legislature jumpstart growth of the state’s TV and film industry, which becomes the nation’s largest by 2016.
  • Completion of a new expansion makes the Georgia World Congress Center one of the largest convention centers in the U.S.


  • President George W. Bush creates the Department of Homeland Security to fight threats of terrorism.
  • The No Child Left Behind Act is passed and signed into law.
  • Unemployment hovers around 5.8%, inflation averages 1.58%, and the federal minimum wage is $5.15.


  • What things cost:
  • New house                                        $228,700
  • Toyota Camry                                   $22,260
  • Maytag clothes dryer                       $399
  • Sears refrigerator (18 cu. ft.)          $400
  • Gas (1 gal.)                                       $1.61
  • Bread (loaf)                                       $1.39
  • Milk (1 gal.)                                       $2.76
  • Starbucks coffee (grande)              $1.55
  • Kellogg’s Froot Loops (24 oz.)       $3.50
  • Eggs (1 doz.)                                     $1.03
  • Round steak (1 pound)                   $3.50
  • Vidalia onions (2 lb.)                        $1.49
  • Jif peanut butter (18 oz.)                 $1.79
  • Taco Bell bean burrito                     69¢
  • Ford F-series truck is the top-selling vehicle.
  • Georgia-headquartered Coca-Cola Company introduces Vanilla Coke. It is discontinued in 2005 in the U.S.
  • iRobot introduces the first Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner for home use.
  • Intuit begins selling QuickBooks bookkeeping software.
  • Barbie, dressed as the fairy-tale character Rapunzel, rules Toyland during the holiday season.
  • Kmart Corporation becomes the largest retailer in U.S. history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • Allergy medication Claritin becomes an over-the-counter drug.


  • Michael and Madison are favorite baby names.
  • Capri pants, cargo pants trench coats and tube tops are women’s fashion staples.
  • Cupcakes and cake pops replace traditional cake as a popular dessert.


  • “American Idol” premieres with Georgia native Ryan Seacrest as host. “The Bachelor” and “Dr. Phil” are also among new TV shows.
  • “Sweet Home Alabama,” a Reese Witherspoon-starring movie filmed in Covington, Conyers, Rome, Crawfordville and other Georgia locations opens in movie theaters.
  • “Spider-Man” is the top-grossing film, “The Summons” by John Grisham is the most popular fiction book, and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is the top TV show.
  • Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” is the number one song.


  • The average web surfer spends 46 minutes a day online.
  • AOL is the most popular website.
  • It takes an average 12.5 minutes to download a song on a 56k modem, and 16 seconds to load a web page.
  • NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe finds signs of huge water ice deposits while mapping the surface of Mars.
  • The domain is registered.


  • Georgia Bulldogs football compiles an overall record of 13-1 and defeats Arkansas to win the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 1982.
  • Tiger Woods wins the 66th Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. It’s his third Masters win, and second consecutive.
  • The Atlanta Braves are the Eastern Division champion with a 101-59 record.
  • Future NBA star Chris Bosh is a freshman playing for Georgia Tech.
  • In his first season as the starting quarterback, Tom Brady helps the New England Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams 20–17 in Super Bowl XXXVI.
  • The XIX Winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City, Utah.