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1821 Future Confederate general Clement Hoffman "Rock" Stevens was born in Norwich, Conn. Stevens served in the U.S. Navy and as a bank cashier before the Civil War. In 1861, he designed and oversaw construction of the fortress on Morris Island and was appointed as a colonel in the 24th South Carolina. He would receive mortal wounds in the Battle of Peachtree Creek on July 25, 1864. At the time of his death, Stevens commanded a brigade in Walker's Division.
1851 John H. Holliday was born in Griffin, Georgia. His father became a major in the Confederate Army, but continued illness forced him to leave military service. In 1864, Holliday's family moved to Valdosta. After the war, Holliday attended Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. After graduating in 1872, he moved to Atlanta and began the practice of dentistry.
The next year, Holliday was diagnosed as having tuberculosis and was advised to move to the drier climate of the West. He moved to Texas, where he continued practicing dentistry but also became interested in gambling and becoming proficient with a revolver. In 1877, Holliday met Wyatt Earp in Fort Griffin, Texas, which led to a friendship the rest of his life. Holliday moved to Dodge City, Kansas, and then on to New Mexico before rejoining Earp, who was now a deputy U.S. marshal in Tombstone, Arizona. On Oct. 26, 1881, the Georgia-born dentist and gunfighter – now known as "Doc" Holliday – joined Wyatt and two Earp brothers in a standoff with Ike Clanton and his gang of gunfighters. They met at O.K. Corral, where the Earps and Holliday gunned down three of the Clanton gang in what was later memorialized in the movie "Gunfight at O.K. Corral." Holliday, however, was not well. His health continued to decline, and he died in a sanatorium in Glenwood Springs, Colo. on Nov. 8, 1887.
1873 Lawyer, politician, and judge Garnett Andrews died in Washington, Georgia. Born in Wilkes County on Oct. 30, 1798, Andrews grew up on a plantation. He attended Washington Academy, afterwards taking up the practice of law in the early 1800s.
Andrews served as a judge from 1836 to 1855, unsuccessfully ran for governor in 1855. In 1860, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he vainly fought against secession. After the Civil War, he served again as a judge from 1868 until his death. During his later years, he became a writer and is probably best remembered for his humorous 1870 work, Reminiscences of an Old Georgia Lawyer.
1888 Because of a yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville, Fla., many residents of that area fled by train to Atlanta. Fear that that the epidemic would spread to Atlanta led city officials to require that every incoming passenger train be inspected by a doctor.
Fortunately, none of the refugees fleeing to Atlanta ever caught the disease.
1908 Gov. Hoke Smith signed an act regulating the practice of veterinary medicine in Georgia. The law provided for minimum qualifications and a board to oversee examining and licensing of veterinarians.
1909 Gov. Joseph M. Brown signed an act regulating the practice of osteopathy in Georgia. In addition to establishing minimum standards, the legislation created a state board to oversee examining and licensing of doctors of osteopathy.
1912 Gov.Joseph M. Brown signed a proposed constitutional amendment creating Wheeler County (named for Confederate cavalry general Joseph Wheeler) from portions of Montgomery County. Because the maximum number of counties allowed by the state constitution – 145 – had already been exceeded, creation of any additional counties required a constitutional amendment. On Nov. 5, 1912, voters of the state approved the amendment making Wheeler Georgia's 148th county.
1913 After an angry outburst by Frank's mother the previous day, prosecutor Hugh Dorsey requested that she and Frank's wife be removed from the courtroom for the duration of the trial. Judge L.S. Roan turned down this request, but did warn the women not to interrupt the proceedings again. Many more character witnesses testified, some having traveled from New York. Frank's mother-in-law (with whom the Franks lived) testified Frank acted normally the night after murder, even engaging in a friendly game of cards. This contradicted earlier testimony that Frank had been nervous, drunk, and suicidal the night following the murder. Finally, Rachel Carson, a female employee of the factory, said she had talked to Jim Conley the Monday following the murder. Conley told her he was so drunk on Saturday that he didn't remember anything he did, but that he was sure Leo Frank was innocent. When Carson told Conley someone had reported seeing a black man lurking behind some boxes on the first floor soon after the time of the murder, Conley was so startled he dropped his broom. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1917 Gov. Hugh Dorsey signed legislation creating the county unit system, a special formula for determining the winner of statewide races in political party primaries. Similar to the concept of the electoral college, primary races for statewide office were not determined by the total vote in the state but rather on a county-by-county basis. The winner of a particular race in a county got all of that county's "unit" votes, which was based on the number of legislators a county had in the state House of Representatives. At the time, Georgia law provided that the eight most populated counties had six representatives. The thirty next largest counties had four representatives. The remaining 121 counties had two representatives. Continuing until 1962, when a federal court declared it unconstitutional, the county unit system was designed to keep political power from shifting from rural areas to growing urban centers (particularly Atlanta).
1920 Gov. Hugh Dorsey signed proposed constitutional amendments creating Brantley County (named for William Gordon Brantley) from portions of Charlton, Pierce, and Wayne counties, and Long County (named for Dr. Crawford Long, who pioneered the use of anesthesia in surgery) from portions of Liberty County. Because the maximum number of counties allowed by the state constitution – 145 – had already been exceeded, creation of any additional counties required a constitutional amendment. On Nov. 2, 1920, voters of the state approved the amendments making Brantley and Long Georgia's 158th and 159th counties.
1931 Gov. Richard Russell signed a proposed constitutional amendment removing the requirement for registering to vote that an applicant had paid all required taxes since adoption of the Constitution of 1877.
1945 President Harry S Truman announced the surrender of Japan, thus ending World War II.
Across the state, Georgians took to the streets to celebrate V-J Day. In downtown Atlanta, thousands of civilians and servicemen gathered on Peachtree Street to celebrate.
1982 The good news was that after a 11-game losing streak, the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres by a score of 6-5. The bad news, however, was that after being in first place in their division for 104 days, the Los Angeles Dodgers took over the lead.
1995 A special session of the Georgia General Assembly convened at the call of Gov. Zell Miller to change Georgia's congressional redistricting act, portions of which had been invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Miller v. Johnson.
Georgia towns and cities first incorporated by acts approved on Aug. 14:
1906 Aldora (Pike County), Holly Springs (Cherokee County), and Offerman (Pierce County)
1908 East Lake (DeKalb County) and Forest Park (Clayton County)
Other acts affecting Georgia cities and towns approved on Aug. 14:
1909 Charters of Millwood (incorporated Aug. 24, 1905 in Ware County) and Yonker (incorporated Aug. 20, 1906 in Dodge County) repealed
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1740 The Trustees' secretary in Georgia, William Stephens, had some bad news to report:
Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia (no city: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. II, pp. 473-474.
1862 From Tazewell, Tenn., Georgia volunteer William Looper wrote to his parents about some of the hardships he and others faced while in Confederate service:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 179
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 On this Sunday, Atlanta merchant Samuel Richards recorded in his diary the uncertainties he felt in the fact of Sherman's continuous artillery bombardment of the city:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1954), p. 630.
1864 John Banks of Columbus, Ga., had a total of seven sons to fight for the Confederacy. Today, he had the painful duty of recording in his diary the death of a third son to fall during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Click here to view grave site of the Banks sons.
Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), p. 34.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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