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1733 Because of the switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendar, events of this day are listed under the February 11, 1733 entry, along with an explanation of the calendar change.
1765 James Oglethorpe was appointed full general in the British Army. Ultimately, he would become the oldest general officer in the British military.
1766 Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, though official announcement did not reach Georgia until July 6.
1850 Gov. George Towns approved Georgia's first law providing grounds for divorce. Prior to this legislation, a divorce could only be granted "upon legal principles" as determined by juries in two consecutive trials. Because Georgia had no statutory definition of what was included by the term "legal principles," Georgia's Supreme Court in 1847 interpreted "legal principles" under British common law to mean religious grounds as defined by the Church of England. The General Assembly subsequently amended the state constitution to provide that grounds for divorce be "upon such legal principles, as the General Assembly may by law prescribe." At the 1850 session, these principles were statutorily established as:
The 1850 statute further provided that in cases of cruel treatment or habitual intoxication, the jury could determine whether to grant a total divorce or a divorce "from bed and board." Further, all other allegations would only allow a divorce from bed and board.
1861 At the Provisional Confederate Congress meeting in Montgomery, Ala. Georgia delegate Augustus Wright introduced a bill "to form a Volunteer Division in the Army of the Confederate States of America." The legislation would subsequently be adopted. For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1865 Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of all Confederate armies, issued Special Order No. 3 naming Gen. Joseph E. Johnston commander of the Army of Tennessee and all troops in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Lee's order also placed Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard under Johnston. Privately, Lee telegraphed Johnston with instructions: "Concentrate all available forces and drive back Sherman." Johnston, however, had to telegraph Lee back: "It is too late to expect me to concentrate troops capable of driving back Sherman. The remnant of the Army of Tennessee is much divided. So are other troops. I will get information from General Beauregard as soon as practicable. Is any discretion allowed me? I have no staff." For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1892 The Cyclorama painting of the Battle of Atlanta was placed on exhibit in a new building on Edgewood Ave. The painting had been purchased in September 1890 at auction by Paul Atkinson -- a Georgian -- for $2500. Atkinson had then exhibited the mammoth historical painting in Nashville and Chattanooga before bringing it to Atlanta in February 1892. After being on display for a year, Atkinson sold it to H.H. Harrison of Florida, who planned to exhibit it at the Chicago's World Columbian Exposition in 1893. Exposition officials, however, demanded that he build a brick building to house the painting, which Harrison was unable to afford. On Aug. 1, 1893, the painting was auctioned off for $1100 to Ernest Woodruff, who sold it a week later to George Gress and Charles Northern, who devised plans to exhibit the painting in Grant Park.
1937 Professional golfer Tommy Aaron was born in Gainesville, Ga. In 1973, he became the second of three Georgians to win the Masters.
2005 Former Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver, Jr. died at his home in Franklin County. He was born July 3, 1918 in Canon, Georgia. See the July 3 entry for This Day in Georgia history for biographical information.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved by the governor on Feb. 22:
1877 The Rock (Upson County)
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by order of superior court on Feb. 22:
1905 Graymont (Emanuel County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1864 From Pine Mount, Ga., Samuel D. Knight wrote Gov. Joseph E. Brown about a growing lack of loyalty to the Confederate cause:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 174-175.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1868 Unhappy with the constitutional convention then underway, Atlanta merchant Samuel P. Richards wrote in his journal:
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. 775.
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