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1862 Following Braxton Bragg's declaration of martial law in Atlanta the previous day, Atlanta provost marshal G.W. Lee issued a special order prohibiting Atlanta hotels and boarding houses from lodging any person without a permit to be in Atlanta. [Click here for text of special order.]
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 From his headquarters near Atlanta, Confederate commander John B. Hood issued General Field Order No. 14 threatening penalties up to execution for "lawless seizure and destruction of private property by straggling soldiers in the rear and on the flanks of this army." In particular, Hood's order noted actions by members of Confederate cavalry in illegally seizing horses from private citizens.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1909 The Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution calling on Congress to create a $5 million prize for the first person to discover an effective method to eliminate the boll weevil.
1910 Gov. Joseph M. Brown signed legislation making it illegal for any person to carry a pistol or revolver without first having a license issued by the county ordinary (now known as the probate judge).
Applicants for what came to be known as a "pistol toter's permit" had to be at least 18 and also had to provide a $100 bond payable to the governor in case of improper or illegal use of the weapon. On the same day, Gov. Brown signed another firearm-related law that made it illegal to shoot at occupied houses except in defense of person, property, or habitation, or under other circumstances of justification.
1913 On day fourteen of the trial of Leo Frank, his defense called twenty-two character witnesses to the stand, including Frank's relatives. They all testified that he was a man of good character and was very busy the day of the murder, showing no nervousness. When prosecutor Hugh Dorsey asked one of the witnesses, a boy who worked for Frank, if Frank had ever made improper advances to him, a bitter argument ensued between the opposing attorneys. Another female employee of the factory, Magnolia Kennedy, contradicted the earlier testimony of Helen Ferguson – who had claimed she tried to pick up Mary Phagan's pay on Friday (the day before the murder) – saying that Frank had told her Mary would pick it up herself on the next day. Kennedy claimed she was behind Ferguson in the line to receive her pay, and that Ferguson had neither asked about Phagan's pay or talked to Frank. Other witnesses testified to the shady character of C.B. Dalton, who had claimed to have used the basement of the factory as a meeting place with women and of using Jim Conley as a lookout. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
Lost among all this controversy was the brief testimony of one of the office boys who worked for Leo Frank. He was obviously nervous and timid the few minutes he was on the stand; saying only that he worked most Saturdays, including the day of the murder, and had never seen strange women in Frank's office and had never seen Dalton at all. But this inconspicuous boy, Alonzo Mann, carried a terrible secret – one he would hold for the next sixty-nine years. It was not until 1982, when he was on the verge of death, that he finally revealed what he had seen that fateful day – Jim Conley carrying the body of Mary Phagan over his shoulder, near the elevator shaft on the first floor of the factory. According to Mann, Conley had threatened him with death if he ever said anything about what he had seen. Mann had gone home and told his mother, who advised him to keep quiet. So the trial went on, with no one realizing that the nervous youth was too scared to give the testimony that likely would have freed Leo Frank.
1958 Joseph Bean, W.O. Cheney, Quinton Lumpkin, George (Pup) Phillips, Jack Roberts, and Sidney Scarborough were inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
1962 In Albany, Georgiaa., St. Teresa's Catholic Church and St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church allowed blacks to attend services for the first time. For more, see the Albany Movement from the Civil Rights Digital Library.
2000 In a very controversial – though unanimous 12-round decision by the three judges – Atlanta's Evander Holyfield defeated John Ruiz in Las Vegas for the World Boxing Association's heavyweight championship. Holyfield's victory resulted in his fourth WBA championship.
2009 In a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama honored long time Atlanta civil rights activist Joseph Lowery with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest national honor awarded to civilians.
2011 In afternoon ceremonies, former Atlanta Braves manager (and general manager) Bobby Cox was inducted into the franchise's hall of fame. Then, prior to the evening game with the Chicago Cubs, Cox's uniform number 6 was retired. Cox was the eighth member of the Braves to have his number retired, joining Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Dale Murphy, Greg Maddux, Phil Niekro, and Tom Glavine. Cox led the Braves to a Major League Baseball record of 14 consecutive division titles, with a total of 2,504 career wins – fourth most in MLB history. Cox retired from the Braves at the end of the 2010 season.
Later in the evening in the game, Braves' second baseman Dan Uggla broke the team record by getting a hit in his 32nd consecutive game. But there was sad news as well, as late during the game it was announced that former Braves pitcher and longtime announcer Ernie Johnson, Sr. had died after a long illness.
Georgia cities and towns incorporated by acts approved on Aug. 12:
1903 Oakwood (Hall County)
1911 Empire (Dodge and Pulaski counties) and Weston (Webster County)
Other acts involving Georgia cities and towns approved on Aug. 12:
1904 Charter of Everett (incorporated Feb. 10, 1894 by Glynn County Superior Court) repealed
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1733 From late May to mid June, James Oglethorpe was in Charles Town on Georgia business. On his return to Savannah, he was shocked at what he found – dissension, idleness, use of black labor, rum, and worst of all sickness and death (which Oglethorpe incorrectly attributed to the rum). His concern is evidenced by this Aug. 12 letter to the Trustees back in London:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 19-21.
1864 From Union lines north of Atlanta, Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote to his wife:
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