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1733 The first Georgia colonists sailed aboard the Anne into Port Royal Sound and then upriver to Beaufort, located on Port Royal Island. [See map] Here, a company of British soldiers stationed at a military outpost helped the colonists move into new barracks to recover from their ocean voyage.
For the Anne, its role in the founding of Georgia was over. After the colonists unloaded, the captain of the Anne returned to Charleston for food, water, supplies, and a cargo for England.
[Note: Letters, diaries, and records of this time show dates based on the Julian calendar (referred to as "Old Style") then in effect in Britain and the American colonies. The Gregorian calendar ("New Style") was adopted in 1752. Thus, Jan. 20, 1732/33 (Old Style) represents Jan. 31, 1733 under the calendar now in effect. For a fuller explanation, click here.]
1788 One of America's oldest black churches was established in Savannah. On this day, white Baptist minister Abraham Marshall and black minister Jesse Peter officially certified the African Baptist Church as the "Ethiopian Church of Jesus Christ." Marshall and Peter ordained Andrew Bryan, a slave who had been ministering to Savannah blacks (and some whites), as church pastor. Unfortunately, many white slave owners were not happy with the idea of a black church and forbade their slaves to attend.
1920 Actor DeForest Kelley was born in Atlanta. As a teenage, Kelley was noticed while singing in his church choir, which led to singing positions on local radio and at the Atlanta Paramount Theater. At age 17, Kelley went California to stay with an uncle for two weeks. He found it irresistible and ended up staying a year. He returned to Georgia briefly, but the lure of California drew him back and soon he took residence there permanently. He performed in Long Beach with a local theater group and did some Navy training films. A Paramount talent scout noticed him in one of these training films, which resulted in a screen test and eventually a contract – one of the last of the old studio contract system. Under contract with Paramount for over two years, Kelley appeared in two films – "Fear in the Night" and "Variety Girl." After his contracted expired, Kelley returned to Paramount to appear in a number of westerns, usually as the villain. He also was one of the first actors to cross over from movies to television, appearing as a guest star on such television shows as "Gunsmoke" and "Bonanza." Kelley also acted in a number of television pilots, one of which was finally picked up in 1966 and sealed Kelley's future – his role of Dr. "Bones" McCoy on "Star Trek" (click here).
He went on to do all three seasons of the show (which has been syndicated and rerun countless times), did the voice-over for an animated version of the show, appeared in all six movies featuring the original cast, and made a special appearance in the premiere episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." In all, Kelley appeared in over 400 television episodes during his acting career. In his later years, he was a resident of motion picture industry's retirement home in Los Angeles. After a long illness, he died at age 79 on June 11, 1999.
1922 Sam Jethroe, the first major league black player to play for the Braves, was born in East St. Louis, Illinois.
1939 U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Coverdell's family moved to Georgia while he was young and opened a small family business. After serving in the army, Coverdell returned to to Georgia and helped transform the family business into a successful nationwide marketing company. His political career began in 1970 when he was elected to the Georgia State Senate. Here, he was soon chosen Senate Minority Leader, a position he held for fifteen years. In 1989 he was appointed director of the U. S. Peace Corps by President George Bush. Under his leadership, the Peace Corps expanded its mission to include serving the new, but often war-torn, democracies of Eastern Europe. In 1992 Coverdell was elected to the United States Senate after a grueling campaign in which he faced runoffs in both the primary and general elections. He was reelected in 1998 but died on July 18, 2000.
1947 Baseball Hall of Famer Josh Gibson died in Pittsburgh, Penn. Born Dec. 21, 1911 in Buena Vista, Ga., he didn't play baseball until his family moved to Pittsburgh when he was 13. Gibson played catcher, but it was his ability to hit home runs that made him the Babe Ruth of the Negro League. Playing for the Pittsburgh Crawfords, he hit 84 home runs in the 1936 season – the all-time record for any professional baseball player. In 1972, Gibson became the second Negro League player to be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, joining famed pitcher Satchel Paige.
1980 Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow because the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
1986 Martin Luther King's birthday was celebrated for the first time as a national holiday.
In Their Own Words on This Day . . .
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-177. (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p. 53.
1861 From Rockbridge, Ga., planter Thomas Maguire recorded in his journal on the secession of Georgia from the Union:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), Vol. I, p. 495.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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