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1736 The H.M.S. Prince of Wales arrived at Savannah. Aboard were Hugh Mackay and a group of Highlanders he had recruited in Scotland to erect a settlement on Barnwell Bluff on the north banks of the mouth of the Altamaha River. Here, near the site where Fort King George had been built 15 years earlier, the Highlanders laid out what would become known as Darien.
1850 Early American skyscraper architect John Wellborn Root was born in Lumpkin, Ga. He is considered one of the most famous examples of the Chicago school of commercial architecture. Root died on Jan. 15, 1891 in Chicago.
1861 Florida became the third state to secede, increasing the pressure on Georgia to take similar action. See also This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1866 One hundred black delegates assembled at the Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta. Concerned about the condition of Georgia blacks after the Civil War, the convention called for equal pay, voting rights, jury duty, equal treatment in public accommodations, and public schools for both blacks and whites. The convention also created the Georgia Equal Rights Association, to be headed by white Republican J.E. Bryant.
1870 In Atlanta, the 1870 session of Georgia General Assembly convened in the Kimball Opera House (which served as Georgia's state capitol from 1869-1889).
Pursuant to a Dec. 22, 1869 act of Congress, black legislators who had been expelled in September 1868 [see Sept. 3 entry for more information] were reseated. On Feb. 2, 1870, the General Assembly ratified the 15th Amendment, and on July 15, Pres. Ulysses Grant signed an act restoring Georgia's representation in Congress.
1886 Businessman and politician Benjamin Conley died in Atlanta. Born March 1, 1815 in Newark, New Jersey, he moved to Augusta, Ga. at age 15. Conley began work as a store clerk and soon proved very adept at business. During the 1840s and 1850s, he became one of Augusta's most prosperous merchants. He also became involved in local politics – serving as city council member and mayor. As the secession crisis grew in Georgia, Conley took a staunch Unionist stand – even after Georgia seceded from the Union. Conley refused to become involved in the Civil War; he spent those years on a farm in Alabama. After the war, he returned to Augusta to resume his business pursuits.
Just as he had been a minority voice in opposing secession, Conley also was in the minority in supporting Radical Republican Reconstruction. In 1868, he was elected to the state constitutional convention, along with Rufus Bullock. Bullock was subsequently elected governor, with Conley elected to the Georgia Senate, where he was chosen as Senate president. When Democrats regained control of the legislature upon withdrawal of federal troops, Gov. Bullock (whose administration was rife with controversy) resigned and fled the state, fearing impeachment. As president of the Senate, Conley became Georgia's chief executive on Oct. 30, 1871. He served for just over two months before James M. Smith was chosen governor in a special election. Conley was conciliatory in defeat, and earned the respect even of his opponents by his fair leadership after the turmoil of the Bullock administration. Conley returned to Augusta until he was appointed Atlanta postmaster by Pres. Grant in 1875. As postmaster, Conley became a popular Atlanta civic leader before his death in 1886.
1887 Middle Georgia College opened as the New Ebenezer Association.
1933 Eugene Talmadge was inaugurated for his first term as Georgia governor.
See Sept. 23 entry for biographical information on Talmadge.
1956 Governor Marvin Griffin gave a dramatic state of the state address to a joint session of the General Assembly.
Griffin formally launched his program of "massive resistance" telling lawmakers that the Georgia Commission on Education had recommended six bills to allow the state to preserve segregation in the schools. He also called on the General Assembly to assert its "Right of Interposition" to declare void and of no force the Supreme Court's recent Brown v. Board of Education decisions that segregation was unconstitutional.
1959 Following Gov. Ernest Vandiver's recommendation, the State Board of Regents ordered state colleges and universities to stop accepting new applications. The move came as way of trying to stop integration. Though not resulting from the Regents' action, on the same day U.S. district court judge Boyd Sloan ordered the Georgia State College of Business Administration (which became Georgia State) to stop turning down black applicants on the basis of their race.
1961 Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes become the first black students to enroll at the University of Georgia. Following registration, Hunter moved into her room in Myers Hall, while Holmes moved in with a black family in Athens. By night, various groups of white students shouting anti-integration messages had assembled outside Hunter's dorm window -–but there was no violence.
1962 Television hostess Julie Moran was born in Thomasville, Ga. After graduating from the University of Georgia, she became the first woman to host "Wide World of Sports." Later, she became weekend co-host of "Entertainment Tonight" and covered the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games for the show.
1966 Members of the Georgia House of Representatives voted not to seat Julian Bond, who was elected to the House in Nov. 1965. After a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Bond was able to take his seat a year later. [See Jan. 9 entry for further information.]
1967 Lester Maddox was elected governor by the Georgia Assembly. In the 1966 general election Maddox, a Democrat, had faced Republican Bo Callaway. Callaway won more votes than Maddox, but because of write-in votes for Ellis Arnall, he did not receive a majority of the total votes. According to provisions of the state constitution then in effect, the election was placed in the hands of the General Assembly. On Jan. 10, the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature selected Maddox, who was sworn into office the same day. See Sept. 30 entry for biographical information on Maddox.
2011 Former Georgia congressman Nathan Deal was sworn in as Georgia's 82nd governor. In a rare snow shutdown of Atlanta, inauguration ceremonies were held before a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly in the House chamber. Deal took office as Georgia's third Republican chief executive.
2011 A record-breaking snowstorm continued throughout this morning; it would dump up to nine inches of snow and ice (more in the mountainous areas) across north and central Georgia, shutting down schools, roads, and government offices for much of the following week.
2012 The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to merge eight schools into four as a cost cutting measure in response to budget cuts over the previous few years. The schools to be merged are Augusta State College with Georgia Health Sciences University, Gainesville State College with North Georgia College & State University, Waycross College with South Georgia College, and Macon State College with Middle Georgia College.
In Their Own Words on This Day . . .
1848 From Naples, Italy, planter Charles Manigault wrote to Jesse Cooper, the new overseer of his two plantations just north of Savannah:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Neither More Nor Less Than Men: Slavery in Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1993), p. 122.
1863 A week after the Battle of Murfreesboro, Georgia soldier John Johnson wrote to his parents and brother and sister from Tennessee:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 212.
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