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1881 A deadly hurricane hit the coast of Georgia killing an estimated 700 people and leaving an unknown number homeless.
1893 On the evening of Aug. 27, a major hurricane hit Georgia's southern coast. The path of the hurricane then traveled northward along the coast, with storm surges and tides submerging many of Georgia's barrier islands – which led to it being called the "Sea Islands Hurricane.". The center of the hurricane hit Savannah and Charleston the next day. In Charleston alone, more than 1,000 people drowned as a result of a tidal surge. Left in the wake of the storm in Georgia and South Carolina were up to 2,000 dead and more than 30,000 homeless. Gov. William Northen called Clara Barton and the Red Cross for help.
Based on his historical research on the impact of hurricanes that have hit the coasts of Georgia and northeast Florida, Al Sandrik, a senior forecaster and meteorologist at the National Weather Service, had this to say about the Aug. 27, 1893, hurricane:
"The hurricane was a true Cape Verde type hurricane which may be tracked back to the African coast on the 15th of August. The storm made landfall as a major hurricane southwest of Tybee Island and was in the process of recurving toward the north as it did so. The storm passed a bit to the east of Jekyll and St. Simons Islands, placing them on the weaker western side. The minimum sea level pressure recorded at Savannah was 28.36 inches or 960.3 mb. Frances Ho produced a re-evaluation of the extreme hurricanes of the 19th century back in 1989 and estimated a central pressure of 27.50 inches or 931 mb at landfall. Put into 20th century terms this would have tied for the 7th most intense hurricane to strike the United States in the 20th century. "Put in more human terms it was of equal intensity to the Galveston Hurricane of Sept 1900 (which is now estimated to have been the 2nd most deadly storm in the Atlantic Basin in the last 500 years and killed between 8,000 and 12,000 people). The death toll associated with the 1893 storm is likely the 20th most deadly storm of the past 500 years.
"In terms of deaths, the greatest disasters in American history would rank about as follows:
Note the greatest disasters by far have been related to Tropical Cyclones and TWO of those occurred along the upper Georgia coast!"
1931 Gov. Richard Russell signed Georgia's first law regulating outdoor advertising along highways.
Among the provisions was a prohibition on advertising in the right-of-ways along public roads and erecting signs on private property without written permission of the owner of that property.
1962 Albany-born Ray Charles' "You Don't Know Me" reached the top of popular music charts.
1963 Former Atlanta University professor and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois died at age 95 in Accra, Ghana. For almost 25 years, Du Bois taught and wrote as a faculty member at Atlanta University, later recalling that it was this period where he developed many of his thoughts and beliefs on black equality. He is probably best remembered for helping organize the Niagara Movement in 1905 and for co-founding the NAACP four years later.
Later in life, Du Bois became bitter about the progress of civil rights in America. In 1961, he openly embraced communism and moved to Ghana, where he renounced his U.S. citizenship.
1976 Former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox was nominated for President by the American Independent Party.
1996 Georgians played a prominent role in this night's proceedings of the Democratic National Convention meeting in Chicago. First Gov. Zell Miller, co-chairman of the National Democratic Party's platform committee, called the Republican Party to task for its platform and the personal attacks against Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Georgia U.S. Representatives John Lewis and Cynthia McKinney defended the Democratic platform on abortion and Medicare. Perhaps the most moving speech of the night by a Georgian was by Carolyn Stradley of Marietta, who confided that she didn't vote for Clinton in 1992 but that since his election her struggling business had dramatically grown because of the robust economy during the past four years. She felt Clinton was responsible, and in 1996 she was going to support him.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1735 In what would become a recurring plea, Georgia colonist Patrick Tailfer wrote the Trustees on behalf of himself and others outlining reasons why they should reverse their ban on slavery:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 225-226.
1738 George Whitefield recorded of his decision to return to England for a time, but (as colonists did so frequently) didn't fail to mention the weather:
Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 296.
Source: George Fenwick Jones and Don Savelle (ed. and trans.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America . . . Edited by Samuel Urlsperger (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1981), Vol. 6, p. 192.
1865 In this morning's sermon at the Methodist Church in Washington, Georgia, 25-year-old Eliza Frances Andrews felt that the eyes of the congregation were on her, as she recorded in her journal:
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-65 (New York: Appleton, 1908), pp. 381-382.
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