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1729 Haslemere's member of Parliament, James Edward Oglethorpe, introduced a motion in the House of Commons to investigate the conditions of England's prisons.
The motion passed and Oglethorpe was named chairman of a committee to investigate "the State of the Gaols of this Kingdom."
1784 Gov. John Houstoun signed legislation setting aside a total of 40,000 acres from a large area ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Augusta (May 31, 1783) and by the Cherokees in a duplicate Treaty of Augusta (Nov. 1, 1783).
From the 40,000 acres of ceded land, the legislature created two new counties.
The legislation also provided that 20,000 acres be set aside from each county to be used as "the endowment of a college or seminary of learning," for which the act set up a board of trustees.
1815 Brigadier general and Confederate Inspector General Robert Hall Chilton was born in Loudoun County, Va. He died in Columbus, Ga. on Feb. 18, 1879. [See Feb. 18 entry for more biographical information.]
1833 Confederate general and historian Clement Anselm Evans was born in Stewart County, Georgia. He studied law and was admitted to the bar at age eighteen. He practiced for three years before becoming a judge, then a state senator. Soon after Abraham Lincoln's election, Evans organized and led a volunteer company. In November 1861, he became a major in the "Bartow Guards," which became 31st Georgia Volunteer Infantry. Evans quickly showed an aptitude for military leadership and was promoted to colonel in April 1862. He participated in the Peninsula campaign and the battles of Seven Days, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. Evans was wounded five times, twice very seriously – but each time, he recovered to fight again. In May 1864, Evans was promoted to brigadier general and then commanded Gordon's Division in the II Corps at Petersburg and at the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.
After the war, Evans became a Methodist minister and served in various posts up until 1892, when he retired from the ministry. He was also a founder of the United Confederate Veterans in 1889 and commander of the UCV's Georgia division for twelve years. In 1895, Evans published a Military History of Georgia, based largely on his memoirs of the Civil War. This work was well received, and Evans subsequently was selected to edit the twelve-volume Confederate Military History, two volumes of which he wrote himself. In 1906, Evans, along with Allen Candler, published the four-volume Cyclopedia of Georgia. Poor health forced him to resign his UCV leadership post in 1910. He died in Atlanta on July 2, 1911, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery.
1856 Gov. Herschel Johnson signed legislation creating Colquitt and Berrien counties.
Berrien County, Georgia's 116th, was created from portions of Coffee, Irwin, and Lowndes counties and named for John MacPherson Berrien, a former U.S. senator (1825-29) and U.S. attorney general under Pres. Andrew Jackson.
1864 The first Union prisoners assigned to Camp Sumter Confederate Prison arrived. Still under construction, the facility in Sumter County, Georgia would quickly become known by another name – Andersonville Prison. For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1875 Gov. James Smith signed legislation creating Oconee County as Georgia's 137th county. Created entirely from Clarke County, the new county was named for the Oconee River, which forms part of the county's eastern boundary with Clarke County.
1875 Gov. James Smith signed legislation creating the State Board of Health. Among its duties, the new agency was responsible investigating the causes of disease – especially epidemics, cooperating with local health agencies to prevent the spread of disease, promoting the health of Georgians, and registering such vital statistics as births, marriages, and deaths.
1876 Gov. James Smith signed Georgia's first abortion law defining and providing punishment for feticide and criminal abortion. According to sections II and III of that act:
Though the contract with Borglum provided that his working models belonged to the association, the sculptor reacted to his firing by destroying the models. After being indicted by a grand jury, Borglum fled the state. Subsequently, he was replaced by Augustus Lukeman, who blasted the carving of the heads of Lee and Jackson off the face of the mountain.
1942 Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker donated a $5,000 initial gift to start a training school fund to train aircraft workers in Cobb County to work at the new Bell Aircraft plant. The Rickenbacker Aircraft Training School opened for classes on November 9, 1942, with an initial class of fifty students and two instructors.
Vocational schools, the NYA, and Georgia Tech were also involved in preparing a southern labor force to build airplanes. Other local workers were taken to the Bell company's Buffalo, N.Y. plant to study the work done there. [Contributed by Dr. Tom Scott, Kennesaw State University]
1948 Martin Luther King Jr. was ordained as a Baptist minister.
1975 Georgia-born Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, died at age 77 in Chicago.
1999 Two days after winning a nonpartisan election to fill the congressional seat vacated by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Republican Johnny Isakson was sworn in as Georgia's 6th district congressman. He would serve two more terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.
Prior to serving in Congress, Isakson had served 17 years in the Georgia General Assembly representing Cobb County in both houses. In 1996, Gov. Zell Miller appointed Isakson chairman of the State Board of Education, a position he held for three years.
1999 Atlanta artist/illustrator Harry Rossoll died at age 89. Rossoll, who worked as an illustrator for the U.S. Forest Service from 1937-1971, is best remembered for conceiving the idea and image of Smokey Bear in 1944 as part of a new forest fire prevention promotion. During the following decades, Rossoll also was responsible for over 1,000 Smokey Bear messages.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved by the governor on Feb. 25:
1856 Hillsboro (Floyd County)
1875 Douglasville (Douglas County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1733 Georgia's new colonists disposed of some recently captured prisoners (see Feb. 21 "In Their Own Words" entry), while James Oglethorpe and Tomochichi agreed on a new location for the Yamacraw Indians to settle:
Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 18.
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 181.
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