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1887 Famous African-American tenor Roland Hayes was born in Calhoun, Georgia. He debuted in Boston in 1917, though his fame came after performing for Britain's king and queen in 1921. During a nationwide tour in 1924, Hayes performed more than 80 concerts. He also published his own arrangements of Negro spirituals in "My Songs" in 1948.
Hayes died on Jan. 1, 1977. In 1991, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Born in Lima, New York on Apr. 2, 1833, Ruger graduated from West Point in 1854. During the Civil War, he was promoted to temporary major general after the Battle of Franklin. After the war, Maj. Gen. George Meade appointed Ruger as acting governor of Georgia after removing Gov. Charles Jenkins from office for obstructing Reconstruction. Ruger served from January to July 1868, when Republican Rufus Bullock was sworn into office. Ruger went on to become superintendent of West Point (1871-76), eventually attaining the rank of major general before retiring in 1897.
1913 After spending the night in jail and after intense questioning, Minola McKnight – the Frank family cook – signed a statement saying Leo Frank was very nervous and drinking heavily the night after the murder of Mary Phagan. She said she overheard Frank's wife say he made her sleep on the rug and kept asking for his pistol so he could shoot himself. Frank had told her "It is mighty bad, Minola. I might have to go to jail about this girl, and I don't know anything about it." Finally she said her wages had been raised as a "tip to keep quiet." Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1941 Georgia voters ratified a constitutional amendment extending the term of office of governor and constitutional officers from two years to four, effective with the November 1942 general election. Turnout for the amendment was small, with a vote of 50,130 for and 30,190 against. Then-governor Eugene Talmadge campaigned in support of the amendment, hoping to succeed to a four-year term.
However, in the 1942 Democratic primary, Talmadge would lose to Ellis Arnall, largely because of his attempts to have the State Board of Regents fire two educational administrators – one at the University of Georgia and one at Georgia Teachers' College in Statesboro – because of their racial views. His interference gained national publicity and resulted in public colleges in Georgia losing their accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Outrage in Georgia was immediate – particularly from college students. As a result, Ellis Arnall beat Talmadge with a promise to reform the role of the governor in state government – particularly in educational affairs.
1942 Curtis Mayfield was born in Chicago, Illinois. He became a Grammy-award winning rhythm-and-blues/soul singer, musician, composer, and record producer.
Paralyzed by an accident in 1990, Mayfield and his family subsequently made Atlanta their home. He died on Dec. 26, 1999.
1962 The Orly Airport Crash near Paris, France killed 103 member of the Atlanta Art Association. An Air France jetliner crashed soon after takeoff from Orly Airport killing 130 people – the worst single air accident to that time. Of the dead, 115 were Georgians – 106 of which were art patrons from Atlanta on an European tour sponsored by the Atlanta Art Association. The only survivors of the crash were two French stewardesses. Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. immediately flew to Paris to help in identifying the victims and to expedite the return of the remains to Atlanta. As a result of the crash, a movement to honor the victims led to building of the Woodruff Memorial Arts Center in Atlanta.
1976 Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson conducted the ceremony officially re-naming Hunter Drive, Mozley Drive, and Gordon Road as Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
1980 Jimmy Carter won enough delegates to assure his Democratic nomination for the 1980 presidential election.
Glavine had undergone shoulder surgery in the off season and was preparing to return to the Braves before he was released. Soon afterwards the Braves announced that pitching prospect Tommy Hanson was being called up from their AAA farm team in Gwinnett, and that they had traded three prospects for All Star outfielder Nate McLouth from the Pittsburg Pirates.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1838 Missionary Daniel Buttrick witnessed the roundup of Cherokee Indians for removal to the West. On the day, Buttrick recorded in his diary:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 81.
1864 Among the Union troops in General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign was the 26th Wisconsin Infantry. This unit fought at the Battle of Dallas on May 28 and then marched east to the Western & Atlantic Railroad -–which served as the Federal supply line from Chattanooga. En route, Maj. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin wrote his wife:
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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