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1743 In Savannah, Gen. James Oglethorpe boarded a ship to return to England. [Some sources say Oglethorpe sailed from Georgia on July 22, though the more persuasive date seems to be the 23rd.]
Oglethorpe's trip to England was prompted by two reasons. Inadequate funding from the Trustees and Parliament over the years had caused him to borrow heavily to pay the colony's unfunded expenses. He had used Westbrook, his family home in Godalming, plus his other holdings in Surrey as security for the loans. Now, unless he could persuade Parliament to reimburse him for his huge loans, he stood to lose everything.
A second reason for returning was to answer charges that an unhappy officer in his British regiment had leveled against him with Britain's war office.
Likely, Oglethorpe had no idea that he would never again return to the colony he founded.
1810 Businessman, politician, and publisher Nelson Tift was born in Groton, Conn. At age 20, he moved to Charleston, S.C., and by 1835 he was operating a business in Augusta, Ga. The next year, he opened a warehouse on the Flint River at a site which would develop into the town of Albany, thus earning him credit as the founder of Albany. During the years 1841 to 1852, Tift represented Albany several times in the Georgia General Assembly. Prior to the Civil War, he published the Albany Patriot for eleven years and served as a railroad executive. Though he opposed secession, during the Civil War he helped supply war-time needs of the Confederacy, including constructing several Confederate ironclads. After the war, he served one term (1868-69) as a member of Congress. Thereafter, he continued to promote the economic and industrial development of southwest Georgia.
The year before his 1891 death, the new town of Tifton was created and named in his honor. In 1905, the Georgia legislature also named a new county in his honor. [There is some confusion as to whether Tifton is named for Nelson Tift or his nephew Henry Harding Tift, who actually founded the town. It seems clear that he younger Tift wanted the new town named Lena. One source says that local inhabitants preferred to call the settlement, "Tift's town," which was shortened to Tifton. Several other sources, however, say that H.H. Tift agreed to the town name of Tifton to honor his uncle.]
1864 Confederate and Union forces spent the day collecting the dead and attending to the wounded from the previous day's Battle of Atlanta. Union artillery launched a bombardment of the city of Atlanta.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1881 Educator Robert P. Brooks was born in Milledgeville, Ga. Attending Georgia Military College for two years (1899-1900), he completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Georgia in 1904. That year Brooks became the first Georgian to win a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Oxford University in England, where he graduated in 1907. In 1911, he entered the University of Wisconsin, where he obtained a doctorate after just over one year of study.
In 1912, Brooks accepted a faculty position with the University of Georgia, where he wrote a Georgia history textbook for use in public schools. In 1920, Brooks became dean of the University's School of Commerce, which eventually became the College of Business Administration. For the next 32 years, he held numerous top administrative positions at the University of Georgia and authored many publications about Georgia and UGA history.
1913 In Atlanta, Jim Conley and Newt Lee were brought together by prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and staff to go over their testimonies for the Leo Frank trial, set to begin July 28. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1996 This was the fifth day of the 1996 Summer Olympics – and day 4 of Olympic competition. On this day, U.S. gold winners were the women's gymnastics team, men's 4 x 100-mter freestyle relay swimming team, Jeff Rouse in men's 100-meter backstroke swimming, Amy Van Dyken in women's 100-meter butterfly swimming, and Kim Rhode in women's double trap shooting. Click here for a summary of medals awarded during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
2003 A fire started on the second floor of the University of Georgia Main Library building caused approximately $1.5 million in damages to various books, documents, and equipment.
A homeless man was charged with starting the fire, but was not convicted. He did admit to starting it, but claimed it was an accident.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1852 Gertrude Clanton recorded a disturbing event in her journal:
Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), p. 111.
1862 From Columbus, Ga., John Banks recorded in his journal the status of the Civil War (in which seven of his sons would serve):
Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), pp. 25-26.
1864 In a letter written to his mother, Confederate soldier A.J. Neal revealed an unflattering view of Atlanta and some of his comrades in arms:
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. 321.
1864 Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote to his wife:
1864 From Atlanta, merchant Samuel Richards recorded in his journal what life was like in the city in the midst of the Union artillery bombardment:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1954), Vol. I, p. 622.
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