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1734 James Oglethorpe sailed from Savannah aboard the man-of-war Aldborough for Charleston, where he would catch another ship for London.
His return to England was prompted by the desire of other Trustees to have him report more completely on the state of affairs in the colony. In particular, they were concerned with Oglethorpe's lack of communication and what was perceived as excessive expenditures. In a bit of showmanship, Oglethorpe decided to bring a contingent of Yamacraw Indians with him. So aboard the Aldborough with Oglethorpe were chief Tomochichi, Senauki (Tomochichi's wife), Toonahowi (Tomochichi's great nephew and successor), five Yamacraw warriors, and John Musgrove (who would interpret).
The voyage to Charleston took a week, after which they waited until May 7 to catch a ship to London.
1738 At the urging of William Stephens, a committee of the Trustees recommended adopting a modified form of female inheritance in Georgia. However, at the April 12 meeting of the Trustees, James Oglethorpe led the opposition to changing the tail male policy.
1861 Meeting in Savannah, Georgia's Secession Convention adopted a proposed new state constitution for Georgia – the Constitution of 1861. The convention voted to submit the constitution to the public for ratification on the first Tuesday in July (which marked the first time Georgia voters were allowed to vote on the state constitution). Following this action, the convention adjourned. For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1868 Fiddlin' John Carson was born in Fannin County, Ga. Carson was the first person to broadcast country music – when he performed live on WSB radio in 1922. The next year, he became the first person to record country music.
1935 Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation providing for the licensing and taxing of beer and other malt beverages. Initially, an excise tax of $1.25 for a 31-gallon container was imposed, with fractional amounts for smaller containers – but this amount was doubled to $2.50 at the 1937 session. The tax was paid by the seller rather than the consumer, although businesses passed the tax on in setting the retail price. The State Revenue Commission, which administered the law, provided stamps to retailers to document that the state tax had been paid on each container.
1935 Governor Eugene Talmadge signed the Georgia Products Wine Act allowing local option approval for Georgians to to produce light wine for personal use or for sale free from any taxation. The legislation provided for a referendum to be held on May 15, 1935, in which voters of each county would for or against the act applying in that county.
1938 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech [see text] in Gainesville, GA. The speech was ostensibly to celebrate the rededication of Gainesville's Courthouse Square, which had been destroyed by tornadoes two years earlier. But Roosevelt used the occasion to launch a veiled attack on Georgia Senator Walter George, making this one of the few controversial speeches he made in the state of Georgia. This marked the beginning of Roosevelt's thirty-second visit to his "second home."
1938 Atlanta politician Maynard Jackson was born in Dallas, Texas. Jackson was the nephew of famed opera singer Mattiwilda Dobbs, who sang at his inauguration as mayor in 1974. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was admitted at age fourteen as a Ford Foundation Early Admissions Scholar. He studied history and political science at Morehouse, graduating in 1956. He earned a law degree from North Carolina Central University in 1964 and held several legal positions before he actively entered politics. After serving as vice-mayor of Atlanta, he was elected to consecutive terms as mayor, running from 1974-1982. He was elected to another term in 1989.
In 1990 he established the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation to aid disadvantaged children of Atlanta. In 1994, Jackson retired from elective politics and began practicing law in Atlanta. He suffered a heart attack visiting Washington D.C. and died June 23, 2003. He was buried in a modest grave in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery.
1956 Testing the U.S. Supreme Court's earlier decisions on integrating public schools, two African-Americans applied for admission to the Georgia State College of Business Administration. Their applications, however, were denied.
1972 In a split decision in the case of Gooding v. Wilson, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Georgia statute making unprovoked use of "opprobrious words or abusive language, tending to cause a breach of the peace" a misdemeanor crime was unconstitutionally vague in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
1998 Athens, Georgia's Kim Basinger won the 1997 Academy Award for best-supporting actress for her role in "L.A. Confidential."
2011 Atlanta based AirTrain Airways' stockholders voted to approve the sale of the airline to Texas based Southwest Airlines. The sale would require federal antitrust clearance.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1734 Lutheran minister Johann Martin Boltzius was duly impressed with the apparent religious motivation of James Oglethorpe, who had delayed his planned trip to England to personally assist in the settlement of the Salzburger emigrants:
Source: George Fenwick Jones (ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America . . . Edited by Samuel Urlsperger: Volume I, 1733-1734 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968), p. 66.
1737 In London, the Earl of Egmont wrote in his journal of Trustee proceedings about Spanish threats to the security of Georgia and South Carolina. At the time of his entry, James Oglethorpe was in England:
Source: Robert G. McPherson (ed.), The Journal of The Earl of Egmont: Abstract of the Trustees Proceedings for Establishing the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1738 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1962), p. 248.
1779 Savannah merchant and Revolutionary soldier Joseph Clay had fled to South Carolina to escape the British occupying Savannah. From there he wrote to friends of the dire military situation in Georgia and the need for more support there:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VIII, Letters of Joseph Clay, Merchant of Savannah, 1776-1793 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1913), pp. 129-130.
1852 The death of a mother or infant during childbirth was a common occurrence. On this day, such a tragedy struck Gertrude Clanton in Richmond County, when a new-born brother died during delivery. It was a painful experience that she herself would later face -- four of the ten children she bore did not survive infancy:
Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), p. 102.
1864 After the loss of Chattanooga, Confederate forces spent the winter at Dalton, Ga. There was no question that with spring, General William T. Sherman would mount a new campaign on Georgia. But for right now, Confederate spirits were high, as A. J. Neal wrote his sister:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 285.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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