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1841 Gov. Charles McDonald signed an act directing that no person could be excluded from testifying in court because of that person's religions beliefs.
1858 Gov. Joseph E. Brown signed legislation creating Banks, Johnson, and Brooks counties.
Brooks County, Georgia's 131st, was created from portions of Lowndes and Thomas counties and named for Georgia congressman Preston Brooks.
1889 Memorial services for Jefferson Davis were held in Georgia's new state capitol on the day of his funeral in New Orleans. Davis had died five days earlier while visiting a friend there.
1943 United Press was permitted to reveal for the first time, under liberalized censorship restrictions, that B-29 Super-Fortresses were being built in at least three aircraft plants in the U.S., including those operated by the Bell Aircraft Company in Marietta, Ga.; Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle; and Glenn L. Martin Company near Omaha, Neb.
General Henry H. Arnold said that the plane was capable of carrying bombs nonstop from the U.S. to Berlin and back and had "eyes" to help guide it to its target or warn and plot the course of interceptor aircraft.
The Bell Bomber plant would deliver its first two B-29s before the last day of 1943. Before the plant closed in January 1946 over 660 additional B-29s rolled out of the Marietta facility. After the war president Lawrence D. Bell would say: "I believe, and other people agree with me, that the B-29 in Georgia was probably the biggest and most successful single manufacturing enterprise in the country during the war . . . . My friends down there have repeatedly told me that the operation of Bell Aircraft probably had more influence on the rebirth of the South than anything that's ever been done." [Contributed by Dr. Tom Scott, Kennesaw State University]
1944 Singer Brenda Mae Tarpley was born in Atlanta, Georgia -- in the charity ward of Grady Hospital. Growing up in Lithonia, Brenda's family was poor, and her father was constantly seeking work as a carpenter. Moving among numerous rental houses, Brenda found a rock of stability in her grandfather's Baptist church, where even at age five she amazed church-goers with her powerful voice. Soon her voice was discovered and she was on her way to stardom under the name Brenda Lee. Early in her career, she was rock 'n roll singer with such hits as "Dynamite,""I'm Sorry," and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." By age thirty she had moved to the country music scene, where she continued her popularity. On Sept. 24, 1997, Brenda Lee was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Despite living in Nashville today, she still claims Georgia as her home.
1949 Country music pioneer Fiddlin' John Carson died in Atlanta.
1960 Some 8,000 blacks attended a prayer meeting at Atlanta's Herndon Stadium as part of the growing movement to boycott downtown stores that refused to hire blacks or integrate their facilities. Two thousand of those marched downtown to show their support for civil rights demonstrators.
1961 In response to the arrest of the Freedom Riders the previous day, Marion King, wife of Albany Movement organizer Slater King, and several others prayed for justice outside the Albany city Hall and were themselves arrested.
2007 Bobby Petrino resigned as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He was in his first year coaching the team, which was thrown into disarray when star quarterback Michael Vick pled guilty to dog fighting charges. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison on Dec. 10; the team lost a Monday night game that same night, then Petrino resigned to accept the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas the next day.
2010 Cam Newton, a native of College Park, GA, won the Heisman Trophy as college football's most outstanding player; Newton played for Auburn.
In Their Own Words on This Day . . .
1736 In London, the Earl of Egmont met with a Mr. McBane, a Scot Highlander from Darien who was in England to hire servants. McBane gave a positive account of Darien and Frederica, while less complimentary of Savannah, as recorded in Egmont's diary:
Source: U.K. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. II, pp. 316-317.
1861 In Bibb County, Maryann Mosely wrote a simple plea to her son, who was serving in the Confederate Army:
Source: Spencer B. King, Jr., Georgia Voices: A Documentary History to 1872 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1966), p. 299
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 As the four portions of his army began to position themselves around Savannah, General Sherman witnessed the following gruesome scene,which he recounted in his memoirs:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman's Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p. 159.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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