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1735 In London, the Georgia Trustees voted to send a new shipload of settlers to build a new town and fort on the Altamaha River, which was the southern boundary of Georgia. The settlement would be named Frederica. See July 2, 1735, entry for why the name "Frederica" was selected.
1812 News reached Savannah that the U.S. had declared war on Great Britain six days earlier.
1868 Congress enacted legislation readmitting Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina to the Union providing they ratify the Fourteenth Amendment and agree to never amend their state constitutions to deprive any citizen of the right to vote. In April 1868, Georgia voters had ratified a new state constitution – one which removed race as a qualification for voting. In the summer of 1868, Georgia's General Assembly finally ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. Nine days after the ratification, federal troops were withdrawn from Georgia – but Reconstruction was not over. In the 1868 general election, 32 blacks were elected to the Georgia General Assembly. In September 1868, white legislators in each house voted to expel black representatives and senators. This, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and other actions against Georgia blacks led Georgia Republican governor Rufus Bullock to ask Congress for help. In December 1869, Georgia was placed under federal military control again.
1921 Lawyer and politician Thomas Hardwick was inaugurated as governor of Georgia.
Despite his earlier leadership in Georgia's black disfranchisement movement, Hardwick had a surprisingly progressive administration. He denounced the newly resurrected Ku Klux Klan became an advocate of prison reform, ended the flogging of prisoners, helped achieve Georgia's first gasoline tax to help build roads, and pushed for a graduated state income tax (not adopted until 1931). Perhaps his most remembered achievement as governor came in 1922 when after the death of U.S. Senator Tom Watson, Hardwick appointed Rebecca Latimer Felton to fill Watson's seat, making making the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. After his term as governor, Hardwick ran unsuccessfully in 1924 and again in 1932, before retiring to his law practice.[See January 31 entry for more biographical information on Hardwick.
1976 Savannah-born Johnny Mercer, widely recognized as one of America's top songwriters ever, died at age 66. Winner of 4 Academy Awards, Mercer had 702 songs published and 13 number one songs. Among his best-remembered lyrics were those for "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Charade," "That Old Black Magic," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Autumn Leaves," "Jeepers Creepers," and "That Old Black Magic."
For more information on Mercer, see the Nov. 18, 1909, entry.
1990 The U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Georgia v. South Carolina defining the boundary between the two states from the area of the river just north of Savannah to the river's mouth at the Atlantic Ocean.
1993 Georgia-born actress Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.
1997 The National Hockey League officially awarded a National Hockey League franchise to Atlanta's Ted Turner, who announced his new team would be known as the "Thrashers" in recognition of Georgia's state bird, the Brown Thrasher.
The Thrashers were Atlanta's second professional NHL team, following the Atlanta Flames, who played in Atlanta from 1972 until 1980, when the team was sold and moved to Calgary, Canada. The Thrashers would face a variety of challenges, and continuing financial losses for the franchise led to the sale of the team on May 20, 2011, to new owners, who announced that the franchise would move to Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. On June 21, 2011, the NHL approved the sale, and the new owners announced that the Atlanta Thrashers would be renamed the Winnipeg Jets.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1864 In a letter to his wife back in Wisconsin, Maj. Fredrick Winkler painted a picture of the unglamorous side of war. He also indirectly gave tribute to the strategy Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston had adopted to slow Gen. William T. Sherman's much larger force in the Atlanta Campaign:
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), p. 311.
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