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1816 Clergyman William Monroe Crumley was born in Laurens, South Carolina. A Methodist minister, Crumley traveled and preached widely throughout Georgia, having congregations in St. Marys, Elbert County, Greene County, Macon, and Columbus. While he was well respected and noted for his conversions in these posts, it was in Savannah that he showed heroic disregard for self. In early September 1854, a hurricane ravaged Savannah, followed soon by an epidemic of yellow fever. Crumley worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering, both physical and spiritual, endured by the many of the city's inhabitants. Contracting the disease himself, he went through a long recovery period, then resumed his work, preaching in Augusta, Rome, Athens, and Atlanta. When the Civil War broke out and each state established a hospital in the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA, Crumley was appointed chaplain to the Georgians in residence there. He served throughout the war and wrote moving pieces for the Southern Christian Advocate urging those at home to send supplies to the hospital. After the war, Crumley continued to serve in various Methodist churches in Georgia, finally settling in Atlanta, where he died April 24, 1877.
1936 Flooding of the Savannah River had been an age-old problem--particularly since the founding of Augusta in 1736. Following the great flood of 1888, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a report in 1890 stating that Augusta's flooding problem could only be solved by building one or more dams on the Savannah River north of the city. Nothing was done, however, and the flooding of Augusta continued, with the greatest floods in 1908 and 1912.
Following a survey of the entire Savannah River Basin, the Corps in 1933 recommended construction of two dams--one near Clarks Hill, South Carolina, and one near Hartwell, Georgia. In August 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed a special board to study the need and feasibility of a proposed dam at Clarks Hill. On Feb. 29, 1936, that board issued a report strongly recommending the building of the dam. World War II, however, would intervene, and construction of the dam was postponed until after the war. Construction of the dam and the first powerhouse for hydroelectric production was completed in late 1952. The remaining six powerhouses went into operation in 1953 and 1954, and the entire Clarks Hill Dam and Lake was completed in July 1954.
1940 The movie version of "Gone With The Wind" won eight Oscars, including Best Picture of the Year.
Among the other winners, Vivian Leigh won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Mammy" in the film. McDaniel was the first African American in history to win an Oscar.
One actress in the movie had Georgia ties. Butterfly McQueen had spent part of her youth in Augusta, Georgia. Later in her life, she returned to live outside of Augusta, where she died on Dec. 22, 1995.
1972 After hitting .327 and a career-high 47 home runs in the 1971 season, outfielder Hank Aaron re-signed with the Atlanta Braves. At the time, Aaron had 639 home runs and was in sight of breaking Babe Ruth's record of 714. To make sure he broke that record as an Atlanta Brave, club officials offered Aaron a three-year, $600,000 contract, making him the first major league player to be paid $200,000 a season.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1739 Some Georgia colonists got around the Trustees' ban on slavery by officially keeping their slaves in South Carolina, but then using them in Georgia. Trustees' secretary William Stephens recorded the fate of one such slave:
Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([no city cited]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. II, p. 298.
1868 Atlanta merchant Samuel P. Richards recorded in his journal an event that on average only occurred once every three decades:
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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