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1734 Though he was in America, James Oglethorpe won reelection to his Haslemere seat in the House of Commons – thanks to efforts on Oglethorpe's behalf by Speaker of the House Arthur Onslow. Speaker Onslow was from Guilford, a Surrey town near Oglethorpe's hometown of Godalming.
1893 The Georgia Society of the Colonial Dames of America was organized in Savannah.
1912 Politician Iris Faircloth Blitch was born in Vidalia, Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia and South Georgia College before marrying in 1929. During the 1930s she and her husband ran successful businesses involving naval stores, pulpwood, and livestock. She served in the Georgia Senate (1946-47), Georgia House (1948-49), and again in the Senate (1952-1954). In the early 1950s, she also worked as secretary of the Georgia Democratic executive committee and was a Georgia delegate on the National Democratic Committee.
In 1954, Blitch was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's Eight District, serving four consecutive terms. In 1956, she joined Georgia's congressional delegation and legislators from other states in signing the "Southern Manifesto," pledging to work toward undoing the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision. She also worked to protect the jute industry in her district from foreign competitors, and defended the use of the comic strip character Pogo in a government pamphlet for parents concerned with television viewing habits. Failing health prevented Blitch from running again in 1962; in 1964 she announced she was switching parties to support Barry Goldwater for president. She died on Aug. 19, 1993.
2009 The University of Georgia had two players taken in the first round of the NFL draft, including the top pick – quarterback Matthew Stafford selected by the Detroit Lions. Running back Knowshon Moreno was selected with the 12th pick by the Denver Broncos.
2009 University of Georgia professor George Zinkhan shot and killed three people, including his wife, at a gathering at a local theater in Athens. The couple had argued earlier and one of the victims, Ben Teague, tried to intervene. Zinkhan left the gathering, returned with two handguns, and killed Teague, former UGA research analyst Tom Tanner, and his wife Marie Bruce. He then left in a jeep with his children, dropped them off with a neighbor, and disappeared. His jeep was found abandoned in a ravine near his home five days later, but no other sign of Zinkhan himself was found. Police, including the FBI, instituted a nationwide manhunt for Zinkhan. His body was discovered two weeks later in the wooded area near where his jeep was found; he had concealed himself in a hole, then committed suicide.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 183-185.
1865 In Columbus, Ga., planter and businessman John Banks recorded in his diary the sad news that Lee had surrendered to Grant. He further noted the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and U.S. secretary of state William Seward (who had been wounded in the assassination plot but recovered):
Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), p. 37.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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