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1780 During the American Revolution, Richard Howley [also spelled Howly] was elected governor by Georgia's Whig legislature while meeting in Augusta. In the war against the British, things weren't going well for the patriots at this time, and on Feb. 3 Howley and the executive council designated Heard's Fort in Wilkes County as the temporary seat of government. Two days later, the legislature elected Howley to represent Georgia in the Continental Congress. In June 1780, he left for Philadelphia, where he served in the Continental Congress until August 1781. Howley returned to Georgia, where he was elected to the legislature. The next year, the legislators elected him to be a judge, but in 1783, he returned to the legislature.
Little is known about certain aspects of Howley's life. He is believed to have been born near Savannah around 1740. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Howley practiced law in Sunbury, Ga., where he owned a plantation. In early 1779, he fled to Augusta to avoid capture by the British. There is no record of him performing military service in the Revolution. Also, it is not clear if he served in any governmental capacity prior to being elected governor -- though he apparently was respected as a lawyer. After the Revolution, Howley moved to Savannah, where he died in Dec. 1784.
1798 Lawyer, military officer, and politician William Crosby Dawson was born in Greene County, Ga. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1816, Dawson read law in Lexington before attending law school in Connecticut. Returning to Georgia in 1818, he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Greensboro. In 1822, Dawson was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served 12 years. During that time, he was appointed to compile a state code that included also laws enacted from 1819 to 1829. In 1834, Dawson was elected to the the Georgia Senate, where he served two terms. In 1836, he raised a company of volunteers in Greene County to go fight against the Creeks and Seminoles in southwest Georgia. As captain of the unit, he was recognized for distinguished service, which helped him get elected in 1836 to the U.S. House of Representatives to fill the term of Georgia congressman John Coffee after his death.
Dawson was reelected to Congress on two occasions, but in 1841 resigned to run for governor of Georgia. He lost the race in a close election and returned to the private practice of law. In 1847, the General Assembly elected Dawson to serve in the U.S. Senate. Here, he became a recognized and influential politician--both in Congress and Pres. Millard Fillmore's administration. After one term, Dawson returned to Georgia and private practice. He died on May 5, 1856, in Greene County.
1905 Actor and animated film voice Sterling Price Holloway was born in Cedartown; Ga. Early, he became interested in acting, but because of his unique high-pitched voice and bushy hair, Holloway's early stage roles were generally those of comical youth characters. In 1953, he became a regular character on the television series, "The Life of Riley." But of all roles, Holloway is best remembered not for his acting but for his instantly recognizable voice as Winnie-the-Pooh in the Walt Disney animated films. He died on Nov. 22, 1992 in Los Angeles, California.
1960 John Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M., was born at the base hospital at Fort McPherson. His parents--John (who served in the U.S. Army) and Marianne -- lived in Decatur, Ga., where Michael grew up. He enrolled at the University of Georgia in 1978 intending to major in art. Soon, however, music became the important force in his life. In 1980, Stipe helped form the band that would become known as R.E.M. Quickly, the band became the most famous group to emerge from the Athens music scene, gaining national and international fame.
1995 Newt Gingrich was formally elected Speaker of the House, becoming the first Republican speaker in forty years. Gingrich also was the third Georgian to serve as Speaker of the House, following in the steps of Charles Crisp (1892-1896) and Howell Cobb (1850-1851).
1999 In Decatur, Ga., Al Wong was sworn in as DeKalb County State Court judge. Wong, who was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the U.S. at age 16, was elected to the post in August 1998, becoming the first Asian-American judge in the Southeast.
1999 After broadcasting this evening's Fiesta Bowl for ABC, Georgia-born Keith Jackson -- who has been called the "national voice of college football" -- retired. For 31 years, Jackson broadcast college football games for ABC developing one of the most recognized voices in television sports history. Despite his retirement, Jackson returned in 2000 to broadcast a limited number of games--mainly on the West Coast. On April 27, 2006, at age 77, he retired from all football broadcasting.
On Jan. 7, 2010, Jackson made a brief television appearance at the 2010 BCS National Championship Bowl in Pasenda, Calif., where he was given the honor of flipping the coin at the beginning of the game.
See Oct. 28 entry for biographical information on Jackson.
2009 Atlanta Falcons' head coach Mike Smith was named NFL Coach of the Year after leading the team from a disastrous 4-12 season in 2007 to a record of 11-5 and a berth in the playoffs in 2008.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1865 From the plantation of her older sister near Albany, 24-year-old Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary about recovering from a severe case of measles. But she had an even greater concern -- fear that Yankee soldiers were coming to take revenge on civilians for Andersonville Prison:
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 63-66.
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