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1895 Former Confederate general Marcellus Augustus Stovall died in Augusta, Georgia, where he was buried in Magnolia Cemetery. Born Sept. 18, 1818 in Sparta, Ga., Stovall received an appointment to West Point at age 18, but he resigned due to poor health. Of interest is the fact that while at West Point, Stovall's roommate was William T. Sherman.
Subsequently, Stovall became a merchant and captain of a militia artillery unit. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he became a colonel in the state militia. In Oct. 1861, Stovall was appointed lieutenant colonel in the 3rd Georgia Infantry, serving under Kirby Smith in Kentucky. In Jan. 1863, he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of a Confederate brigade in Breckenridge's Division, which fought at Chickamauga and during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
After the fall of Atlanta, Stovall commanded a brigade in Clayton's Division that fought at Franklin and Nashville, and joined Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate forces in the Carolinas. Following the war, Stovall became a cotton broker in Augusta and also founded and operated the Georgia Chemical Works, a fertilizer manufacturing company.
1910 Gov. Joseph M. Brown approved legislation enacted by the General Assembly proposing a constitutional amendment to remove language from the Constitution of 1877 allowing counties to levy taxes for "instructing children in the elementary branches of an English education only." Instead, the constitutional amendment would allow counties to levy taxes for "educational purposes."
1913 This was the seventh, and pivotal, day in the trial of Leo Frank. James Conley, a sweeper at the factory, was called to testify and presented a gruesome, graphic, and sometimes revolting tale. In fact his testimony was so lurid that Judge Roan ordered all women and children cleared from the courtroom.
Conley testified he had "watched out" for Frank on several occasions, while he entertained young women in his office. Some of his descriptions of what he saw intimated that Frank was a sexual deviant. On the morning of April 26th, Conley said Frank had asked him to "watch out" for him while he "chatted" with Mary Phagan. Later, Frank had whistled for Conley to come to his office. Frank was so nervous he had to lean on Conley for support. He then supposedly told Conley that Phagan had refused him and he had struck her and left her in the machine room. When Conley was sent to get her, he said he found her lying on the floor, dead, with arms outstretched. Conley said Frank told him to wrap up the body and put it in the basement. Conley tried to do so, but said he could not lift the body. So Frank had helped him get it on the elevator, which they then took to the basement, where Conley dragged the body into a corner. They then returned to Frank's office, where Frank indicated there would be money waiting for Conley if he "kept his mouth shut." Here Conley said Frank uttered the ominous phrase "Why should I hang?" Frank then had Conley write the notes found near the body, apparently in an attempt to incriminate Newt Lee. Upon severe cross examination, Conley admitted he had lied to the police about this case previously; he had given several different stories after his May 1 arrest when he was seen washing out a bloody shirt in the factory. Conley also admitted he had been arrested numerous times. The defense was able to confuse Conley on some details of his story, but he held to the main points. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1919 Civic leader reformer Mary Ellen (Nellie) Peters Black died in Atlanta, where she was born in 1851. After Sherman's destruction of the city, she returned to personally bring a message of hope and encouragement to residents as they came back to view the ruins of their former homes. In 1877, she married George Black, inheriting four stepchildren. After his death in 1886, she became active in women's clubs and civic affairs. She served on the board that organized the first free hospital in Atlanta (which later became Grady Hospital). Black promoted free kindergartens in Atlanta, served three terms as president of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs, and worked on other civic projects.
In 1914, she began speaking at a series of of agricultural rallies across Georgia to promote scientific experimentation, diversifying crops, and canning fruits and vegetables. Black was also instrumental in convincing the trustees of the University of Georgia to agree to accept women students in 1918.
1944 Forty-seven railroad workers were killed when a train derailed in Stockton, Georgia.
1958 At 8 a.m., a caravan of seven covered wagons accompanied by 33 adults, 18 children, 15 mules, 6 saddle horses, one dog, and two State Patrol cars pulled out of Dahlonega heading south on state highway 9-E (which for the first ten miles was a dirt road).
At an average speed of three miles per hour, the wagon train began a three-day trip to Atlanta bearing 43 ounces of gold from Dahlonega – site of the nation's first gold rush in 1828 – to be fashioned into gold leaf to cover the dome of Georgia's state capitol. On this first day of the trip [see photo], the wagon train made it to Cumming, where the group camped out for the night. (For more on the story, click here.)
1990 The Atlanta Braves traded Dale Murphy and Tommy Greene to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for Jeff Parrett, Jim Vatcher and Victor Rosario.
1996 This was 17th and final day of the 1996 Summer Olympics – and day 16 of Olympic competition. On this day, U.S. gold medal winners were the men's and women's basketball teams, Click here for a summary of medals awarded during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
That evening, those fortunate to have a ticket saw gala closing ceremonies firsthand in Centennial Olympic Stadium.
At the conclusion, the Olympic flag was transferred by Bill Campbell, mayors of Atlanta, to International Olympic Committee president Juan Samaranch, who then presented it to the mayor of Sydney, Australia – host of the 2000 Summer Olympics. At the end of the evening's ceremonies, the Olympic flame was slowly extinguished – thus ending the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympics.
Georgia cities and towns incorporated by acts approved on Aug. 4:
1903 Beloit (Lee County), Boykin (Miller County). and East Elijay (Gilmer County)
1913 Box Springs (Talbot County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1738 William Stephens received good news about Georgia's founding father on this day:
Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia (London: 1742) as reprinted (no city cited: Readex Microprint Corp.,1966) Vol. I, p. 255.
1864 A Cobb County man recorded in his diary an encounter with some Confederate deserters - who had done so to try and provide for their families - who were in a desperate situation:
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