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1778 Georgia's Whig legislature passed a law declaring 117 royalists as traitors and confiscating their property.
1781 Maryland became the final state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. Because the document required ratification by all 13 states, March 1 marked the day America's first constitution went into effect.
1818 Former Georgia governor Jared Irwin died in Washington County, Georgia.
Born in 1750 in Mecklenburg County, N.C., at an early age Irwin moved with his family to Burke County, Ga. He fought in the American Revolution, rising to the rank of colonel. After the war, he settled in Washington County, Ga. Subsequently, he held a variety of political offices. In 1796, the General Assembly elected Irwin governor. Perhaps his most noteworthy action was signing the act repealing the Yazoo Act and then participating in the ceremonial burning of the act on the grounds of Georgia's statehouse in Louisville [click here to see image].
1875 Gov. James Smith approved an act making cruelty to animals a misdemeanor. Anyone found to "torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, cruelly beat or mutilate" an animal could be fined up to $50.
1875 Congress passed the United States' first civil rights act, which attempted to provide blacks with equal treatment in public places and transportation.
1876 Ivan Allen Sr. was born in Dalton, Georgia. He became so successful at selling office supplies that he moved to Atlanta in 1895 to work for a larger firm. Allen eventually worked himself up through the ranks until he became the company's owner. He made the Ivan Allen Company into one of the largest office supply firms in the world, and was the creator of the one-stop department store concept.
As successful as he was in business, Allen's passion was to promote Atlanta to the nation and the world. Serving in such positions as president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the Atlanta Rotary Club, he worked ceaselessly to present Atlanta as a great place to live and do business.
In 1925, while Atlanta suffered under a sagging economy and many businesses were looking to Florida for the future, Allen organized the Forward Atlanta campaign. Within the span of three years some 17,000 new jobs were created in Atlanta. But Allen was not interested in business alone; he also collected rare maps, purchased and donated the land for Fort Mountain State Park, and even wrote two booklets explaining and praising Atlanta -- Atlanta from the Ashes and The Atlanta Spirit.
Though out his life Allen continued to serve on various boards and committees, from government advisory positions to director of the Trust Company of Georgia. Allen never ceased singing the praises of Atlanta and almost daily walked its streets and conversed with its citizens around his home on Peachtree. He died at age 92 in Atlanta on Oct. 16, 1968.
1890 Lawyer and politician William Hartsfield was born in Atlanta. Admitted to the practice of law in 1917, he was elected to Atlanta's city council in 1923. There, he chaired the council's aviation committee and led the drive to create an Atlanta airport.
Elected to the General Assembly in 1933, Hartsfield most noted accomplishments would come after election as mayor of Atlanta in 1937 -- an office he would hold except for one brief interval until his retirement from politics in 1962.
Under his leadership, Atlanta went from a city on the verge of bankruptcy during the Depression to having a $3.5 million surplus at the time of his retirement. He sponsored improvements to Atlanta's zoo (Willie B. was named for him), Stone Mountain, and the Cyclorama. He created a department of public safety to oversee the city's police, fire, and traffic departments -- which previously had been characterized by controversy and graft. Hartsfield also fought for the overthrow of the county-unit system to give a greater voice to Atlanta's urban voters. He facilitated the peaceful integration of Atlanta's city schools and was a proponent of racial moderation. Hartsfield also was a key supporter of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River, which created Lake Sidney Lanier and an abundant supply of water for Atlanta.
Hartsfield stayed active after his retirement unit his death in Atlanta Feb. 22, 1971. Atlanta's airport, now one of the world's busiest, subsequently was named in his honor.
1913 The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect imposing a national income tax.
1929 Macon, Georgia, got airmail service. On Sept. 15, 1926 [see entry], Florida Airways began airmail service between Atlanta and Miami. The airmail plane was supposed to land at Macon, but it was not until Sept. 27 that Macon city officials completed a landing strip. The airmail service only lasted until Dec. 31, 1926, meaning an end to all airmail service in Georgia. On Dec. 1, 1928 [see entry], airmail service in Georgia was restored with separate routes from Atlanta to Chicago (Contract Air Mail Route 30) and Atlanta to Miami (Contract Air Mail Route 25). Pitcairn Aviation (which became Eastern Air Transport on Jan. 17, 1930) won the contract for the Atlanta-Miami route. On March 1, 1929, Pitcairn began serving Macon on its CAM 25 route.
1943 Rickenbacker Field, named for aviation hero Eddie Rickenbacker, was completed in Marietta by the U.S Army's Corps of Engineers. The field originally was begun in June 1941 as a commercial airport by Cobb County and the Civil Aeronautics Administration. At the time that Marietta was chosen as the site for the Bell Bomber plant, Rickenbacker Field was only partially finished. By March 1942, when the Corps of Engineers took over the project, the CAA had spent $470,000 and engineering fees, while Cobb County had appropriated $269,000 to build the airport. Eventually, the Corps would spent over $2 million more on extensions and improvements, giving Rickenbacker Field some of the best runways in America in terms of length, thickness, and number. (Contributed by Dr. Tom Scott, Kennesaw State University)
After Georgia's congressional delegation obtained loans of $250,00 in 1947 and $450,000 in 1948 for construction of a dam and lake, Congress appropriated $750,000 for the project in 1949. The idea of a lake and dam north of Atlanta traced to Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield (third from left in above photo), who was interested in controlling downstream flooding, a reliable source of drinking water, hydroelectric power, and a lake for recreation purposes. Eventually, $45 million in federal funds went into creation of Buford Dam and Lake Lanier.
2007 A series of tornadoes ripped through southwest Georgia's Mitchell, Taylor, and Sumter Counties, killing nine people and causing extensive damage to buildings and homes, including a hospital in Americus.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved by the governor on March 1:
1856 Jefferson (Camden County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1733 Exactly one month after arriving in Georgia, colonist Peter Gordon recorded another significant first, then went on to describe how houses were being built:
Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), pp. 18-19.
1839 From St. Simons Island, Fanny Kemble Butler wrote in her journal about the housing afforded her husband's slaves:
Source: John A. Scott (ed.), Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 by Frances Anne Kemble (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984), pp. 219-221.
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