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1738 At age 23, George Whitefield arrived in Savannah to take over the ministry of the departed John Wesley three days before the Trustees back in London officially gave him the job. In Savannah, Whitefield began preaching and soon decided that the colony needed an orphan home.
After only three months in Georgia, Whitefield returned to England to complete his ordination as an Anglican minister and also to raise money to build an orphanage in Georgia. See Dec. 16 entry for biographical information on Whitefield.
1864 After two days of skirmishes, Confederate troops withdrew from Tunnel Hill, which Federal troops then occupied. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman made the Clisby Austin House his temporary residence.
Several miles away, the first fighting in the Atlanta Campaign began northwest of Dalton.
Meanwhile, the remainder of Sherman's forces tried to outflank Johnston and encircle Confederate forces.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1886 In Savannah for a 6-day visit, Jefferson Davis took a day off from receptions and speeches. He viewed a cavalry demonstration at Camp Washington and took a tour of the city.
1913 The blood on Newt Lee's shirt was determined to be not more than a month old. The wife of one of the mechanics who had testified on April 30 said she visited her husband at the factory that day and saw a "strange Negro" boarding the elevator as she left around 1:00 p.m. Detectives on the case said someone was planting false evidence and trying to block the investigation. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1968 Responding to U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy's big win in the Indiana presidential primary, Georgia Governor Lester Maddox said the win "shows you can buy an election if you have untold millions behind you . . . . He would have been bottom man if he had spent the same as other candidates. . . . I hope for America's sake that he doesn't win the nomination. Mr. Kennedy says he wants a new America, but I would like to keep the one we got."
There had previously been friction between the two men – as U.S. Attorney General Kennedy had brought a discrimination suit against Maddox for refusing to serve blacks in his Pickrick Restaurant in Atlanta. Maddox had opened the restaurant in 1947 and operated it until 1965, when he chose to close it rather than serve blacks as required by a federal court order pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1976 The Atlanta Constitution reported that United Auto Workers president Leonard Woodcock had offered his public endorsement of presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, and that the leaders of the AFL-CIO were "leaning" toward abandoning their tradition of public neutrality in favor of endorsing Carter.
1976 Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin announced that Georgia would use a controversial pesticide, Mirex, to treat four million acres of Georgia land infested with fire ants.
Mirex was thought to be dangerous for wildlife and its founder, Allied Chemicals, had stopped its production a year earlier. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had recently given the state of Mississippi permission to produce and use the product.
1996 Responding to the previous day's report that Atlanta was the most violent city in the nation, Mayor Bill Campbell said he was "outraged, . . . disappointed and . . . discouraged . . . ." But Campbell added, "It will get better. Of that you can be sure."
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1768 In Savannah, James Habersham wrote to William Knox in London. His letter shows the seeds of revolt are beginning to flourish, though far from ripened yet. Habersham also mentions one of the central figures in early American history and, as many others also did, complains of the oppressive Georgia heat:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), pp. 64-65.
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