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1737 From a ship that had just arrived from South Carolina, the Trustees in London learned that Spanish forces in Havana, Cuba, were finalizing plans for a naval and land attack of Georgia.
1750 The Trustees named Henry Parker vice president of Georgia. By October 1750, he was performing the duties of president William Stephens (who was incapacitated due to advanced age and illness). In early 1751, the Trustees appointed Parker as president of Georgia.
1806 Former Georgia governor James Jackson died in Washington, D.C. He had been born on Sept. 21, 1757 in Moreton-Hampstead in Devonshire County, England. In 1772, his parents sent him to Savannah, where he lived with John Wereat while reading law. Jackson became a Whig and served in the Georgia militia during the American Revolution. After the war, he practiced law while continuing militia service, ultimately rising to the rank of major general in 1792. Jackson had extensive political experience, serving in the Georgia General Assembly during the 1780s and 1790s, in the U.S. House of Representatives (1789-1791), as governor (1798-1801), and in the U.S. Senate (1793-95 and 1801-06).
After the Yazoo Land scandal, Jackson resigned from the Senate to return to Georgia to fight for repeal of the legislation and defeat of those who had supported it. Because of his role, the General Assembly named a new county in his honor in 1796. Reelected to the Senate, Jackson helped negotiate an agreement in 1802 whereby Georgia ceded its western territories to the U.S. in return for a payment of $1,250,000 and the national government's agreement to extinguish all Indian claims to land within Georgia.
1937 Gov. E.D. Rivers signed an act of the General Assembly creating the state Department of Public Safety. The agency had two divisions (which still exist today) – the Bureau of Investigation (today known as the G.B.I.) and the Georgia State Patrol.
1947 In a 5-2 decision in the case of Thompson v. Talmadge, Georgia's Supreme Court ruled that earlier that year, the General Assembly had exceeded its power in electing Herman Talmadge governor during the "Three Governors Affair."
The legislature had justified its action because of a state constitution provision that in the event no candidate for governor received a majority of all votes cast, the General Assembly shall elect the governor from the two candidates that received the highest number of votes and "who shall be in life." The high court, however, ruled that the state constitution provided that the governor's term was "four years, and until his successor shall be chosen and qualified." When governor-elect Eugene Talmadge died before taking the oath of office, the court ruled that departing governor Ellis Arnall had no successor – so he remained governor until he resigned on Jan. 18, when newly elected Lt. Gov. Melvin Thompson succeeded to the office.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved by the governor on March 19:
1869 Cochran (then Pulaski, now Bleckley County), Drayton (Dooly County), and Kingston (Bartow County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1739 While at sea on his return to Georgia, George Whitefield maintained his duties as Anglican minister -- preaching on this day, then performing a wedding which did not run as smoothly as he wished:
Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 284.
1841 William Bacon Stevens' 1847 work, A History of Georgia, is generally considered the first scholarly history of this state. It came about after a committee of the Georgia Historical Society wrote the University of Georgia professor on March 11, 1841 asking if he would write a new and complete history of Georgia. On March 19, Stevens wrote back indicating his acceptance of the task but pointing out some of the difficulties that he would face:
Source: William Bacon Stevens, A History of Georgia (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1847), Vol. I, p. xi.
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