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1789 Electors from the thirteen states unanimously elected George Washington to be the first president of the United States.
The results of the election, however, were not officially counted until April 6.
1861 Delegates from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina convened in Montgomery at the Alabama state capitol to form the Confederate States of America. [In Texas, a convention had voted to secede subject to ratification by the citizens in an election scheduled for Feb. 23.]
Representing Georgia were Howell Cobb, T.R.R. Cobb, Benjamin Hill, Alexander Stephens, Robert Toombs, Eugenius Nisbet, Francis Bartow, Martin Crawford, Augustus Wright, and Augustus Kenan. Georgia's Howell Cobb was elected as convention president. Both Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs were considered early favorites to become president of the Confederacy.
1943 Gov. Ellis Arnall signed a joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to recreate the State Board of Education as a constitutional board. The amendment was part of a series of proposals by Arnall to reduce the powers of the governor in response to the previous administrations of Eugene Talmadge. In the subsequent general election, Georgia voters approved the amendment.
1947 Politician Sanford Bishop was born in Mobile, Alabama. After graduating from Morehouse College and Emory Law School, Bishop was admitted to the Georgia and Alabama bars, but made Georgia his home. In 1977 he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served until 1991, when he was elected to the Georgia Senate. In November 1992, Bishop was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's second congressional district, and reelected in 1994. Georgia's congressional districts were successfully challenged in federal court and redrawn for the 1996 election. The second district, formerly majority black, was more racially balanced in 1996, but with a white majority.
Bishop, an African-American, subsequently surprised many political observers by winning reelection despite the newly redrawn district. In Congress, he was appointed to the House Agriculture and Veteran's Affairs Committees. Later, he was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee.
1976 Following approval in the House on Jan. 19, the Georgia Senate approved a joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the governor to be reelected to one consecutive four-year term. Since the governor cannot veto proposed constitutional amendments, the Feb. 4 action by the Senate marked the resolutions date of approval. Subsequently in November 1976, Georgia voters approved the succession amendment. As a result, Gov. George Busbee was able to successfully run for reelection in 1978. Since passage of the amendment, every Georgia governor (with the exception of Roy Barnes in 2002) has won reelection for a second term.
1993 An Atlanta jury found
General Motors negligent in the design of the fuel tank on its pickup truck
and awarded $105 million to the parents of a teenager killed in 1989 when
his vehicle was struck from the side and ignited.
2005 Actor Ossie Davis died in Miami, Florida. He was born on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia.
2011 University of Georgia mascot Uga VIII died from cancer after a short reign; he became the official mascot on October 16, 2010, and continued through the regular football season, before his illness prevented him from representing the University in the Liberty Bowl game.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1764 From Savannah, Georgia royal governor James Wright wrote the British Board of Trade about a number of issues. Among these was Wright's plea to the board to force the governor of South Carolina to stop issuing land grants to the territory south of the Altamaha River (which Georgia claimed). Also, Wright was not optimistic that problems with the Creek Indians would end:
Source: Kenneth Coleman and Milton Ready (eds.), Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. 28, Part II (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979), pp. 7-9.
1866 Less than a year after the Civil War, Atlanta faced a worsening smallpox epidemic, as noted in the diary of local merchant Samuel P. Richards:
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), Vol. I, p. 705.
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