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1734 After their ship had grounded on a sand bar in the mouth of the Savannah River the previous day, the first group of German Salzburgers finally reached Savannah. The entire town turned out to watch their arrival, and several cannon were fired to salute Georgia's newest colonists.
1739 James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees in opposition to a petition being circulated in Savannah asking the Trustees to revoke their ban on slaves on the grounds that white men could not work in Georgia.
In his letter, Oglethorpe noted: "This Assertion I can disprove by hundreds of Witnesses, all the Salzburgers, the people of Darien, many at Frederica, and Savannah and all the Industrious in the Province. The idle ones are indeed for Negroes." Oglethorpe urged fellow Trustees to remain firm on the ban, predicting the ruin of the colony if it was lifted.
1823 Educator and Confederate general William Flank Perry was born in Jackson County, Ga. He later became a teacher, school superintendent, and college professor. In 1862, Perry joined the 44th Alabama as a private. Subsequently, he was appointed major and served at the Battle of Second Manassas. By the Battle of Sharpsburg, he was a lieutenant colonel. In Sept. 1862, Perry was promoted to full colonel and served at the battles of Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. He commanded Laws' Brigade in Field's Division at the Battle of Petersburg. In February 1865, Perry was promoted to brigadier general and served at Appomattox.
After the war, he became a planter, as well as teacher and college professor. Perry died on Dec. 18, 1901 in Bowling Green, Ky.
1866 Gov. Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation extending Atlanta's city limits to everything within a mile and a half radius from the passenger depot. The 1847 act incorporating Atlanta had set the limits at a mile from the depot established at zero-point milepost on the Western & Atlantic Railroad.
1888 African-American choral director Hall Johnson was born in Athens, Ga. In 1925, he organized the Hall Johnson Choir and went on gain fame for his musical arrangements. He is probably best remembered for directing the chorus in the 1930 Broadway play, "The Green Pastures" -- repeated on film in 1936.
1898 The city of Atlanta accepted George Gress' gift of the Cyclorama painting of the Battle of Atlanta. The gift was conditioned on city officials making repairs to the circular wooden building in which the painting was housed in Grant Park, and on the city funding repairs to the giant canvas (which was 50 feet in height and 400 feet in circumference). Repairs were made to the building, which served as the Cyclorama's home until a new marble building was completed in 1921 (where it has been housed since).
1912 The Girl Scout movement was founded in America when 18 girls held their first meeting at the home of Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah and were organized into the first troop of Girl Guides (which the following year was renamed Girl Scouts). Low's niece -- Daisy Gordon Lawrence -- was the first member.
1929 Cola-Cola executive and noted philanthropist Asa Griggs Candler died in Atlanta. He was buried in Westview Cemetery.
See Dec. 30 entry for biographical information on Candler.
1932 Civil rights leader, politician, and diplomat Andrew Young was born in New Orleans, La. Upon graduating from Howard University and becoming a minister, Young was drawn into the civil rights movement. He was an active participant with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in leading voter registration drives, and worked closely with most of the other civil rights leaders, such as Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Young was with King in Memphis when King was assassinated (and is one of the persons in the famous photograph pointing to where the shot came from). Young was elected to the U.S House of Representatives from Georgia in 1972, and was subsequently reelected twice. In 1977, Pres. Jimmy Carter appointed Young as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He served with the U.N until 1979.
In 1981 Young was elected mayor of Atlanta for the first of two consecutive terms - lasting through 1989.
Young was influential in the drive that won for Atlanta the honor of hosting the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
1956 Former Atlanta Braves great Dale Murphy was born in Portland, Oregon.
1981 Timothy Hill disappeared
in Atlanta; later in the month his strangled body was discovered in the Chattahoochee
River. He was the latest victim in the Atlanta Child Murders case.
1990 Georgia-born Clarence Thomas took the oath of office for the District of Columbia Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
1993 A surprise winter storm -- called by some the "storm of the century" -- struck middle Georgia. The storm produced blizzard conditions and gale force winds, forcing airports to close throughout the eastern U.S.
1996 Two Georgia swimmers
qualified for the 1996 U.S. Summer Olympic team -- Angel Martino, from Americus,
in the 50-meter freestyle, and Carlton Bruner, of Dunwoody, in the 1500-meter
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1733 Six weeks after arriving in Georgia, James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees that the Yamacraw Indians had concluded a peace treaty with him giving English colonists rights to settle at Yamacraw Bluff and other lands not reserved to the Indians. Oglethorpe further noted that he had drawn on the Trustees account for £400, and that he personally had paid the remainder. Thus began his practice of using personal funds to support the colony when sufficient Trustees funds weren't available. Ultimately, Oglethorpe would mortgage his entire estate back in Surrey on behalf of Georgia:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 7-8.
1733 Another letter written on was from Savannah was by Thomas Causton. Writing to his wife in England, Causton described the status of Savannah:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 10-11.
1734 After spending much of the previous day stranded on a sand bar, Baron von Reck recorded the landing of the Salzburger emigrants in Georgia, and his first impressions of Savannah:
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. 46-47.
1772 Writing to royal governor James Wright (then in London) Savannah merchant Joseph Habersham wrote of the growing popularity in the assembly of those opposed to British policies. Habersham himself had not yet joined the revolutionary bandwagon:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), pp. 168-169.
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