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1787 The convention to revise the Articles of Confederation assembled at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
William Few was the only Georgia delegate present at the opening session.
1849 Musician Thomas Greene "Blind Tom" Bethune was born in Harris County, Georgia. Blind from birth and born a slave, Bethune exhibited a natural ability to imitate and create music at a very early age. In 1857, at only age eight, he performed on the piano in public, playing works by Mozart, Beethoven, as well as original compositions. The next year his owner hired Bethune out on a three-year contract; he toured Georgia and other parts of the country playing and learning new pieces, which he could learn and play by rote. During the Civil War he played for sick and injured Confederate soldiers.
After the war and a controversy over who had the right to manage his incredible talents, Bethune returned to touring and performing, including three successful European tours. He continued to play publicly up until his death in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 13, 1908.
1864 Sherman's Atlanta Campaign renewed in earnest as the Battle of New Hope Church began. [For a detailed 1864 Union map of the Resaca to Kennesaw Mountain campaign, click here. New Hope Church is shown at the bottom left of the map, west of Marietta.] Sherman, however, miscalculated Johnston's defense preparations and would suffer 1,600 casualties in the May 25-26 battle.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1892 In Atlanta, Grady Hospital was formally dedicated. Including the lot, the building cost $205,000 to construct.
1907 Three years after his death, a statue of former Confederate general and Georgia governor John B. Gordon aboard his horse Marye was unveiled on the state capitol grounds.
The bronze statue was created by Solon H. Borglum, brother of Gutzon Borglum. Click here to view the "John B. Gordon Statue" page with color photos.
1913 Details of prosecutor Hugh Dorsey's presentation to the grand jury in the Leo Frank case were beginning to emerge. No bill of indictment had been handed down against Newt Lee – all the evidence presented was aimed at Frank. Neither of statements given by Frank or Lee were mentioned. Jim Conley had not been called to testify, nor had the notes found near Phagan's body been presented. The undertaker who embalmed Phagan's body said there was evidence of sexual assault, but the county physician said there was not sufficient evidence to make such a claim. Meanwhile, Newt Lee's attorney requested that he be kept in custody, for fear the murderer of Mary Phagan would try to influence his testimony. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1913 Brownie Mae Humphrey was born in Buford, Georgia. Under her married name Brownie Wise she became a successful business woman who developed the party plan system of marketing, made famous by Tupperware sales.
1918 Actor Claude Akins was born in Nelson, Georgia.
1937 African-American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner died. Born June 21, 1859 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tanner would become best known for his sensitive painting, "The Banjo Lesson." He later became a professor of art at Clark College in Atlanta.
1940 At Oglethorpe University's Hearst Hall in Atlanta, school president Thornwell Jacobs presided at the sealing of the Crypt of Civilization time capsule, joined by RCA president David Sarnoff and a host of state and local officials.
Four years earlier, Jacobs had conceived the idea of a time capsule that would preserve a record of popular culture of the times as well as the knowledge accumulated over the past 6,000 years. For three years, a wide variety of documents, devices, and artifacts were collected.
Over 640,000 pages from books were microfilmed for the vault, joined by photographs, motion pictures, and sound recordings. Other items ranged from a bottle of Coke to a typewriter to a pair of false teeth. [Click here for a list of items in the crypt.] If the earth and the foundation of Hearst Hall are still in existence, the time capsule is scheduled to be opened in the year 8113. Jacobs determined this date by calculating 6,177 years between the beginning of the Egyptian calendar to 1936 (when he got the idea), and then adding 6,177 years into the future.
1962 In Atlanta, the federal district court for the northern district of Georgia issued a ruling in the case of Toombs v. Fortson that found both houses of the Georgia General Assembly to be malapportioned in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The judge further ordered the legislature to reapportion one of its houses prior to the 1963 session.
1976 Six presidential primaries were held on this day. Jimmy Carter won three – Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky – giving him 103 delegates and 848 of the 1505 needed to win the Democratic nomination. Idaho Senator Frank Church won the three western primaries in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1742 On this day, Georgia president William Stephens recorded in his journal on the arrival of two potential new residents who had come from South Carolina to see first hand the state of conditions in Georgia:
Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1741-1743 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), pp. 84-85.
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah, The Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p. 245.
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