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1824 Jurist Richard H. Clark was born in Springfield, Georgia. Clark was admitted to the Georgia bar at age twenty and immediately began practicing law in Albany, Ga. He spent one term in the Georgia Senate, then served in the Democratic party convention of 1857, which was deadlocked in its choice for governor. Clark helped win the nomination Joseph E. Brown, who subsequently served as Georgia's governor throughout the Civil War. During the war, Clark became a superior court judge in Georgia's southwestern circuit. So impressive was his legal knowledge that he, Jared Irwin, and T.R.R. Cobb were given the task of codifying Georgia's body of statutory law. This comprehensive work, the Georgia Code of 1863, was praised by Clark's contemporaries and reportedly was the first such work of its kind produced in this country. After the war Clark moved to Atlanta, where he became city court judge and then a superior court judge in the Stone Mountain circuit.
Clark died in Atlanta on February 24, 1896.
1841 Educator, college president, minister Gustavus Alonzo Nunnally was born at Good Hope, Georgia. Entering the University of Georgia at age 14, Nunnally graduated four years later. He became a teacher in Monroe, Georgia., and then president of Hamilton College. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the 9th Infantry Regiment of the Georgia State Guards, in which he rose to the rank of first sergeant. Nunnally was stationed at Rome for part of the war, but with Lee at his surrender at Appomattox. After the war, Nunnally returned to Monroe to resume teaching, also becoming a farmer, newspaper editor, and – on Sundays – a Baptist preacher. He would serve churches in Rome, Newnan, Memphis, and Alabama. In 1883, Nunnally was awarded an honorary D.D. degree from Mercer University and a LL.D. from the University of Georgia. From 1889 to 1893, he served as president of Mercer and of the Southern Female College in LaGrange.
Nunnally reestablished the Mercer system of Baptist education at various secondary schools and at Georgia's three Baptist colleges – Mercer, Shorter, and Tift. He also wrote a number of religious works and was active in many different field before his death on Aug. 14, 1917. [Click here for more biographical information on Nunnally and here for the biographical profile he prepared for the University of Georgia Centennial Alumni Catalogue in 1901.]
1933 In an action to deal with the Depression, Gov. Eugene Talmadge deleted $70,000 in projects from Georgia's annual state budget and then ordered all state agencies to prepare for a 20-25 % cut in funds for the following year.
1939 Gov. E.D. Rivers approved a joint resolution of the General Assembly ratifying the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution that had passed on March 18, 1939 [see entry]. While this is considered the resolution's official date of approval, federal courts have ruled that the official date of a state's ratification of a U.S. constitutional amendment is the date the second house of a bicameral legislature approves the ratification. The courts have ruled that any additional requirements under state law for the governor's approval or certification by the secretary of state are not controlling.
1939 Gov. E.D. Rivers signed a joint resolution of the General Assembly [text] calling for the return of the Civil War locomotive "General" – then in the possession of the city of Chattanooga, Tenn., where it was a popular tourist attraction.
The joint resolution specified that the General should be relocated to Kennesaw, Georgia., where the federal government was planning a national battlefield park at Kennesaw Mountain. Georgia lawmakers called for the return of the General as soon as the city could build a suitable building to house the historic locomotive. Unfortunately, Chattanooga had no interest in giving up its Civil War attraction.
In 1962, Chattanooga officials allowed the General to leave Tennessee in order restage the Great Locomotive Chase from Kennesaw to Ringgold, Georgia.
For the story of the decades-long battle for ownership of the General, click here. Once federal courts ruled in favor of Georgia, work began on a new museum in Kennesaw to serve as permanent home of the General. The museum was completed in early February 1972. Under the cloak of much secrecy, the engine was taken to a rail line near the Georgia state capitol, where Gov. Jimmy Carter formally took possession of it on behalf of Georgia. The General was then transported to the new Big Shanty Museum in Kennesaw where, on February 19, it was proudly displayed at the museum's official opening.
The Big Shanty Museum later was renamed the Kennesaw Civil War Museum, and today is known as the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. It serves as permanent home of the General.
[To view Georgia's other state symbols, click here.]
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved by the governor on March 24:
1933 North High Shoals (Oconee County)
1939 Oakman (Gordon County) and Sugar Hill (Gwinnett County)
1941 Garden City (Chatham County) [it replaced the town of Industrial City Gardens, created by superior court order of Feb. 8, 1939]
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1737 Savannah minister John Wesley recorded two tragedies in his journal on this day:
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. 216-217.
1839 From her husband's plantation on St. Simons Island, Fanny Kemble wrote in her journal of events on this Sunday. One of those involved her sharing religious instruction with the slaves, as evidenced by this entry:
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 reprint of 1961 original volume), p. 280.
1867 From Atlanta, merchant Samuel P. Richards wrote in his diary of the appointment of Maj. Gen. John Pope as commander of the Third Military District:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 original volume), Vol. I, p. 738.
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