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1864 After Confederate forces failed to break Union ranks in the Battle of Peachtree Creek, Confederate Gen. John B. Hood had planned to take the battle to Union troops under Maj. Gen. James McPherson east of Atlanta on July 22. After an all-night march on the 21st, Hardee's Corps were supposed to flank McPherson's forces for a surprise rear assault while other Confederate forces simultaneously launched a frontal attack at dawn. However, Hardee's march ran hours behind over unfamiliar ground. Moreover, his force split up. Gen. William H.T. Walker and Gen. William B. Bate [often incorrectly listed as "Bates"] subsequently get lost, but about noon arrived at their destination. Just as Walker lifted his binoculars to view the area ahead, a Union lookout's musket ball killed the Georgia-born Confederate general instantly. [See Nov. 26 entry for biographical information on Walker.]
By this time, McPherson's army has repositioned itself and was ready when the Confederates finally launched the Battle of Atlanta.
The afternoon of July 22 witnessed heavy fighting to the east and southeast of downtown Atlanta.
During the day, the outnumbered Confederates won some encounters, but by dusk the day belonged to the Federals. On this one day, 8,500 Confederates were killed or wounded, while Union casualties numbered 3,600 – one of whom was Gen. James McPherson.
Today in Atlanta can be found countless markers and memorials to the Battle of Atlanta. Two monuments – each consisting of an upright cannon barrel – recall the deaths of Confederate Gen. William Walker and Union Gen. James McPherson.
The United States Army also remembered McPherson by naming the first major U.S. military base in Georgia for him – Fort McPherson, which opened in Atlanta in 1885. The most visited memorial is the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum, located in Grant Park.
The Cyclorama features a painting of the Battle of Atlanta that is 42 feet in height and 358 feet in circumference enhanced by painted figures and terrain in the foreground that creates a three-dimensional effect.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1868 In the 32nd issue of its inaugural year, the Atlanta Constitution covered the story of the General Assembly's July 21 ratification of the 14th Amendment. In an accompanying editorial [click here for full text], the Constitution noted its displeasure with the vote, observing:
1964 This was "Georgia Day" at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City.
Among a full day of events, Gov. Carl Sanders participated in unveiling ceremonies for a plaque at the display of the famous Civil War locomotive "The General," which had traveled to New York for the World's Fair.
In response to questions from reporters, Gov. Sanders incorrectly predicted that Georgia would support Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential election.
1964 In Atlanta, a three-judge federal court ordered the Heart of Atlanta Motel and Lester Maddox's Pickrick Restaurant to serve black customers by virtue of the public accommodations provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The three-judge panel – consisting of judges E.P. Tuttle, L.R. Morgan, and F.A. Hooper – gave attorneys for Maddox and the motel until Aug. 11 to appeal the ruling. The case of Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S. was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 5, 1964. On Dec. 14, 1964, in a 9-0 decision, the justices upheld Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce includes the power to prohibit segregation in places of public accommodation if those places affect the flow of goods and people from one state to another. Subsequently, the Heart of Atlanta Motel agreed to desegregate. Lester Maddox, however, refused to open the Pickrick to blacks and closed the restaurant. His opposition to the federal government gained Maddox support among some white Georgians, which he capitalized on in a variety of ways – from selling political souvenirs (including autographed pick handles) to successfully running for governor in 1966.
1996 This was the fourth day of the 1996 Summer Olympics – and day 3 of Olympic competition. U.S. gold winners on this day were the women's 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay swimming team and Beth Botsford in women's 100-meter backstroke swimming. Click here for a summary of medals awarded during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Related to the Olympics, Australia on this day released a new commemorative stamp in recognition of the Atlanta Summer Olympics and the fact that Sydney, Australia, would host the 2000 Summer Olympics.
First day of issue ceremonies were held in the Atlanta Merchandise Mart, which was the venue for OLMPHILEX 96.
2001 Though born in Florida, former Georgia Tech golfing great David Duval won the 2001 British Open, with a 10-under-par score.
Duval's victory marked the first time for a Georgia-affiliated golfer to win the British Open since Bobby Jones.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved on July 22:
1902: Mansfield (Newton County)
1924: Franklin Springs (Franklin County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
Source: George Fenwick Jones and Don Savelle (ed. and trans.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America . . . Edited by Samuel Urlsperger (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983), Vol. VII, pp. 196.
Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1741-1743 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), pp. 111-112.
1861 From Camp Mercer on Tybee Island, Fort Pulaski commander Charles Olmstead wrote his wife about the most immediate enemy his Confederate garrison faced:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 146.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 From Columbus, Ga., John Banks (who had seven sons serving in the Confederate army) sadly recorded in his journal the loss of a son who was killed at the Battle of Reseca:
[After the war, Eugene's body was recovered from his battlefield grave and reburied in the Banks family section in the Columbus, Ga. cemetery. Click here to view his final grave site.]
Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), pp. 30-31.
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