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1742 Spanish Florida Governor Manuel de Montiano arrived off the southern tip of St. Simons Island with a fleet of 36 ships and 2,000 men.
Here, James Oglethorpe and a total of about 900 men stood between the Spanish flotilla and Georgia and South Carolina. As the sun went down, the ships were at anchor – but it was now clear that the long-expected Spanish invasion of Georgia had begun.
1824 William Tatum Wofford was born in Habersham County, Georgia. He became a lawyer and then served in the Mexican War. Wofford returned to Georgia, where he became a planter, politician, and newspaper editor. After the outbreak of the Civil War, Wofford was appointed a colonel in the 18th Georgia Infantry. In January 1863, he was promoted to brigadier general and commanded a brigade in McLaws Division at Gettysburg and a brigade in Kershaw's Division at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg.
On Nov. 15, 1865, Georgia voters elected Wofford to the U.S. House of Representatives, but he was denied his seat by Radical Republicans. Wofford died on May 22, 1884, near Cass Station in Bartow County.
1887 Atlanta druggist and chemist John S. Pemberton registered a patent for "Coca-Cola Syrup and Extract."
1948 Future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was born near Savannah, Georgia. After a year in seminary school, he earned an undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. In July 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. After lengthy Senate confirmation hearings, Thomas was approved and took his oath of office in October 1991 becoming the fifth Georgia-born justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
1959 A Seaboard Air Line
Railroad train derailed, then burned, near Meldrim, Georgia, resulting in
23 deaths and 7 injuries.
1997 Atlanta boxer Evander Holyfield retained his heavyweight championship in his rematch with former champion Mike Tyson. In the strangest of matches, Tyson was disqualified at the end of the third round for biting Holyfield's ear again after having been warned earlier. This time, Tyson bit off part of Holyfield's ear.
2005 Leah Ward Sears was sworn in as chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court; thus becoming the first African-American female state supreme court justice in the nation, and the first female state supreme court justice in Georgia. Sears served four years as chief justice, stepping down at the end of her term on June 30, 2009, and returning to the private practice of law. Since then, her name has been on the short list for appointment as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on two occasions.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1738 Daniel Buttrick, a missionary working among the Cherokee Indians, witnessed the roundup and removal of the Cherokees to the west. On this day he recorded in his diary:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.) Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 84.
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