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1835 A band of Seminole Indians ambushed a column of U.S. troops led by Maj. Francis Dade in Florida, killing all but 3 of the 108 soldiers, thus precipitating the Seminole War (actually Second Seminole War). Southern states were asked to send militia units for federal service to fight the Seminoles. Among the units making up Georgia's quota of 3,500 soldiers was the Macon Volunteers.
1838 Gov. George Gilmer signed an act creating Chattooga County as Georgia's 93rd county. Created from portions of Floyd and Walker counties, the county was named for the Chattooga River, which flows through the county joining the Coosa River in Alabama.
The origin of the name "Chattooga" came from the Cherokee town of Cha tu' gi in western South Carolina, and in fact the name was applied to the river that divides Rabun County from South Carolina – which gives North Georgia two Chattooga rivers.
1851 Politician Joseph Mackey Brown was born in Cherokee County, Georgia. Brown was the son of Georgia Civil War governor Joseph Emerson Brown; he later wrote on the military history of the momentous events surrounding him as a child. As an adult he became an executive with the Western and Atlantic Railroad during a time of its significant expansion; he worked with the railroads for twenty-three years. He was appointed to the Georgia Railroad Commission in 1904, then was surprisingly dismissed in 1907 by Governor Hoke Smith – touching off a decade long political feud between Brown and Smith.
Brown was elected governor over Smith in 1908; then lost a narrow race for re-election to Smith in 1910. But when Smith resigned to become a United States senator, Brown won the election to succeed him. In 1914 Smith easily defeated Brown in the senatorial race and Brown retired from public life, though he continued to present his opinions in the Atlanta Constitution on matters such as the Leo Frank case, World War I, and women's suffrage. Brown and Smith finally set their differences aside in 1928 to support Al Smith for president. Brown's health began to decline that same year; he died in Marietta March 3, 1932.
1856 Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Augusta, Georgia, where his father – Dr. Joseph R. Wilson – was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church from 1858 to 1870.
After graduating from Princeton and the University of Virginia law school, he moved to Atlanta to practice law in May 1882. Here, he became a partner with former law school classmate Edward Renick (although Wilson could not practice until passing the Georgia Bar, which he did in October 1882). Their firm – Renick & Wilson – was located at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth streets.
Though Wilson only practiced law in Atlanta for a year, it was here that he wrote Congressional Government in the United States. (which later became a textbook as well as the basis for his doctoral dissertation) and he met future wife Ellen Axson of Rome.
Subsequently, Wilson earned a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He became a professor (1890) and president (1902) of Princeton and was elected governor of New Jersey (1910) and 28th president of the United States (1912), serving two terms (1913-1921).
Wilson died at age 67 in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 3, 1924. He is buried inside the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
1867 Pres. Andrew Johnson relieved Maj. Gen. John Pope as commander of the Third Military District (which included Georgia), naming Maj. Gen. George Meade to assume responsibility for Georgia's Reconstruction.
1870 Politician Wilson Lumpkin died in Athens, Georgia. Lumpkin spent a decade serving in the state legislature and as an inferior court judge, before being elected to the United States Congress in 1814. In 1818 he was appointed to survey lands ceded to Georgia by Indians. He spent seven years traveling among the Creek and Cherokee, prompting him to become a strong advocate for removal of the Indians to the West. After being elected to Congress again in 1826, he worked to secure passage of bills to remove the Cherokees from Georgia's boundaries. Lumpkin was elected governor in 1831 and served until 1835.
While he opposed South Carolina's attempt to nullify federal tariff laws, he adopted a strong states right's view on Indian removal. Soon after his second term as governor, Lumpkin was named commissioner to execute the Treaty of New Echota, in which a faction of the Cherokees agreed to removal. In the fall of 1837, he was elected to the U. S. Senate, where he fought all efforts to overturn the treaty – and witnessed the culmination of his efforts with the Trail of Tears in 1838. Lumpkin then turned his attention to construction of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, completed in 1851. From 1843 onwards, Lumpkin lived in retirement on his farm in Athens – which was later incorporated into the University of Georgia campus. For his role in the Cherokee removal, the General Assembly named Lumpkin County for him in 1832. Following his death, Lumpkin was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. His grave is located at the top of the highest hill in the cemetery across the street from the University of Georgia football stadium.
1904 Because of falling cotton prices, Georgia farmers burned two million bales in an effort to cause cotton market prices to rise.
1928 Ma Rainey, known as the "Mother of the Blues," made her last recording.
1948 To take advantage of the downsizing of the Air Force after World War II, an official of the U.S. Office of Education visited Robins Air Force Base to coordinate the transfer of base buildings to Georgia local public school systems.
1973 In the sixth annual Peach Bowl, Georgia eased by Maryland by a 17-16 score.
1981 The trial began for Wayne Williams, primary suspect in the Atlanta Child Murders case. He was officially charged with the last two murders in the case, but was suspected of being the person responsible for all of them.
1985 Georgia and Arizona played to a 13-13 tie in the Sun Bowl.
1991 Time Magazine named Ted Turner its Man of the Year.
1991 The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League playoffs.
2001 Playing in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, No. 16 Georgia lost to Boston College by a score of 20-16.
2006 Trailing Virginia Tech 21-3 at halftime, the University of Georgia football team rallied for 28 consecutive points in the second half en route to a 31-24 win the Chick-fil-a Bowl in Atlanta. After defeating Auburn and Georgia Tech to end the regular season, this marked the first time in UGA history that the football team had defeated three straight ranked opponents.
2009 After a lackluster first half, Georgia came back to beat Texas A&M 44-20 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. Although neither team was nationally ranked, the win gave Georgia an 8-win season. The win also had historic significance. The Bulldogs became the first team in Division 1-A college football to win at least eight games for 13 consecutive seasons.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved on Dec. 28:
1843 Griffin (then Pike now Spalding County)
1888 Moreland (Coweta County)
In Their Own Words on This Day . . .
1739 While Georgia's charter prohibited the Trustees from holding land grants in Georgia, there was no specific ban on owning land in other British colonies in America. Although a July 9, 1736 entry in the journal William Stephens may explain James Oglethorpe's link to Palachocolas on the South Carolina banks of the Savannah River, there were several contemporary references to Oglethorpe's "barony" [a term that referred to a 12,000-acre land lot] at Palachocolas. One was by Salzburger minister Johann Martin Boltzius, who indicated in his journal entry of Dec. 7, 1739 and that of this day (concerning the surveyor Oglethorpe had hired to survey the Salzburger land grants at New Ebenezer) that Oglethorpe held a barony at Palachocolas:
Source: George Fenwick Jones and Renate Wilson, Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America . . . Edited by Samuel Urlsperger, Vol. VI, 1739 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1981), pp. 317-318.
1866 The first serious attempt to secure a public library for the city of Atlanta was set in motion by a letter signed by "Many Young Men" that appeared in the Atlanta Daily New Era:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 original volume), p. 759.
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