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Created from portions of Washington County, the county was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Gen. Nathanael Greene, who was living in Savannah at the time but died four months later.
1807 Future Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston was born in Virginia. He attended West Point, graduating in 1829 in the same class as Robert E. Lee. In 1861, he resigned from the U.S. Army to offer his services to the Confederacy.
In 1864, Johnston commanded the Army of Tennessee during much of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign before being replaced by John Bell Hood. In 1865, Lee named Johnston to again head the Army of Tennessee, with responsibility for Confederate forces in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Johnston's surrender to Sherman on April 26, 1865 resulted in the end of the Civil War for Georgia. He died March 21 1891 in Washington D.C.
1824 Future Confederate general George Thomas "Tige" Anderson was born in Covington, Ga. He served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War, and again from 1855 to 1858. After Georgia seceded, Anderson became a colonel in the 11th Georgia, commanding a brigade during the Seven Days Campaign and the battles of Second Manassaas and Sharpsburg. In Nov. 1862, he was promoted to brigadier general, commanding his own brigade in Hood's Division at the battles of Fredericksburg, Suffolk, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Knoxville.
Anderson's brigade was transferred to Field's Division for the battles of The
Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. His brigade was
present at Lee's surrender at Appomattox. After the war, Anderson became
a freight agent, police chief, and a tax collector. He died Apr. 4, 1901
in Anniston, Alabama.
1842 Poet Sidney Lanier was born in Macon, Ga. He graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1860, serving as a tutor there until the outbreak of the Civil War.
In the spring of 1861, Lanier joined the Macon Volunteers. He was captured in 1864 and imprisoned in a Union prison in Maryland, where he contacted a lung disease. After the war, Lanier had a series of jobs, during which time he began writing novels and poems.
His best works were written in 1869 and afterwards. Some, such as "Thar's More in the Man Than Thar Is in the Land," were written in rural Georgia dialect, while others such as "The Marshes of Glynn" were more serious in nature. [Click here to view his collected poems.] As his health continued to deteriorate, Lanier traveled to the mountains of North Carolina, where he died of tuberculosis in Lynn, N.C. on Sept. 7, 1881.
1865 Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens attended the Hampton Roads Peace Conference as one of three Confederate commissioners to discuss the possibility of ending the Civil War with U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward.
The meeting, which took place aboard a ship off the coast of Virginia, ended in failure.
1898 Atlanta Constitution
editor and publisher Ralph McGill was born in Soddy, Tennessee. Educated
at Vanderbilt University, McGill began his career covering sports for the
Nashville Banner. After leaving school he became the paper's
sports editor and also began writing political columns. It was these political
writings that attracted the attention of Clark Howell, editor of the Atlanta
Constitution. Howell brought McGill to Atlanta in April, 1939 to write
on both sports and politics. McGill's columns gradually became the
centerpieces of the sports page ("Break O' Days"), editorial page ("One
Word More"), and finally on the front page, simply entitled "Ralph McGill."
In 1942, McGill became editor of the Constitution, and by 1961
McGill's columns were timely, covering subjects from the Great Depression to the Vietnam War. His was a voice of moderation, yet support, during the civil rights struggle. While never outwardly advocating integration (knowing it would cost him his southern readers), still he urged cooperation and obeying federal laws. He openly took on Governor Eugene Talmadge and the Ku Klux Klan; his editorial decrying the bombing of Jewish temple and burning of a black school in 1958 earned him a Pulitzer Prize. McGill also traveled extensively, witnessing first hand many of the European developments from Hitler's rise to power to the Nuremburg Trials. In the post war years he traveled and did stories from Russia, Africa and the Far East, including a three week stay with U.S. troops in Vietnam. All the presidents from Truman through Johnson consulted McGill on what he witnessed on his travels. He remained active until his death in Atlanta February 2, 1969.
1924 Former president Woodrow Wilson died at his home in Washington D.C.
Born Dec. 28, 1856 in Staunton, Va., Wilson spent part of his childhood in Augusta, practiced law in Atlanta, and married Ellen Louise Axson of Rome, Ga.
1940 University of Georgia football great Fran Tarkenton was born in Richmond, Va. After an outstanding career as Bulldog quarterback, Tarkenton went on to a record-breaking career in professional football as a quarterback for Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. After retirement, he was elected to National Football League Hall of Fame.
First day of issue ceremonies were held in Macon, Ga., where Lanier was born
1994 Atlanta Braves leftfielder Ron Gant broke his leg in an off-road motorcycle accident. Uncertainty over his recovery led the Braves to trade Gant to the Cincinnati Reds.
2001 Football greats Mike "Moon Pie" Wilson, Kent Hill, and Jim Wilson; UGA and Olympics basketball star Teresa Edwards; three-time world boxing champion Evander Holyfield; and Olympic swimming champion Angel Martino were inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in ceremonies in Atlanta.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1931 Mrs. Thomas A. Edison wrote a letter to Georgian Moina Michael praising her for having originated the idea of the Memorial Poppy as a fund-raising device for the benefit of disabled veterans and their dependents:
Source: Moina Michael, The Miracle Flower: The Story of the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy (Philadelphia: Dorrance and Co., 1941), p. 128.
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