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1775 In Savannah, members of the Sons of Liberty seized loyalist John Hopkins from his house and publicly tarred and feathered him, then took him on a cart through the streets of Savannah for three hours.
Hopkins was not a government official but rather a local ship pilot. His offense the previous night was drinking to loyalist toast the Sons of Liberty found offensive. In addition to being tarred and feathered, Hopkins escaped hanging by drinking to the toast: "Damnation to all Tories and success to American liberty!" [Click here for Hopkins' account of the event.]
1778 Georgia completed ratification of the Articles of Confederation. America's first constitution was proposed on Nov. 15, 1777, by delegates to the Second Continental Congress meeting in York, Pennsylvania.
Eight months later, on July 9, 1778, a number of delegates – acting with full authority to ratify on behalf of their respective states – ratified the Articles. However, for the Articles to go into effect, every state's delegation had to approve. As the Revolutionary War was then under way, not all delegates were in attendance on July 9, and signing continued until March 1, 1781, when the last state ratified the Articles.
Georgia's John Walton was present on July 9, 1778, and signed the document then. Georgia's other two delegates – Edward Telfair and Edward Langworthy – did not sign until July 24, 1778, which is the date most often used for Georgia's ratification of the Articles. However, Georgia's legislature appears to have unofficially ratified the Articles over a year earlier, as evidenced by a July 15, 1777 executive proclamation of Georgia Governor John Treutlen which refers to the Articles of Confederation as having already been "entered into, ratified, and confirmed by this State as a cement of union between the same and the other United and Independent States of America. . . ."
1913 A panel of 144 Fulton County men was selected, from which list the jury for the Leo Frank trial would be drawn. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1939 NBA Hall of Fame center Walt Bellamy was born in New Bern, North Carolina. He would play for several professional teams – including the Atlanta Hawks, and end his career with 20,941 total points. Also, with 14,241 rebounds, he was one of the top rebounders in NBA history. Before turning professional, Bellamy played on the U.S.'s 1960 gold-medal-winning Olympic basketball team.
After his career in professional basketball, Bellamy chose to make Atlanta his home, and for a time he was sergeant-at-arms for the Georgia Senate.
1962 Collegiate and professional football place-kicking great Kevin Butler was born in Savannah, Georgia. He later had an outstanding career with the Georgia Bulldogs, where after each field goal the stadium scoreboard would flash "the Butler did it." In 1985, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Chicago Bears, where he played for eleven seasons. In 1996, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
1996 This was the sixth day of the 1996 Summer Olympics – and day 5 of Olympic competition. The U.S. gold medal winner on this day was the women's 4 x 100-meter medley relay swimming team. Click here for a summary of medals awarded during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
1998 Former University of Georgia running back Terrell Davis confirmed that he had just signed a nine-year contract with the NFL Denver Broncos totaling $56.1 million – making him the highest paid running back in the National Football League at that time.
Davis, a sixth-round draft choice of the Broncos in 1995, still had three
years remaining on his earlier contract, but the Broncos had agreed to renegotiate
if he had consecutive 1,500-yard seasons. Davis rushed for 1538 and 1,750
yards in the 1996 and 1997 seasons, followed by being named MVP of the 1998
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1772 James Habersham wrote to William Knox, former Georgia agent in England who still owned land in Georgia, of the attempts at producing rice on his land, along with some other catastrophes:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: The Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p. 194.
1864 Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote to his wife of the previous day's fighting in the Atlanta Campaign:
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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