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1783 In Augusta, a portion of the Lower Creeks signed the Treaty of Augusta ceding Creek lands between the Ogeechee and Oconee rivers to Georgia. The next year, the Georgia legislature began creating counties in the ceded lands. However, because of doubts as to the legality of the treaty and the opposition of chief Alexander McGillivray and his followers, official cession of the contested land did not occur until the Treaty of New York in 1790.
1804 The University of Georgia held its first graduation ceremonies.
1818 Editor Joseph Clisby was born in Medford, Massachusetts. Clisby was a successful newspaper editor in Florida before he purchased the Macon Telegraph in 1855. He was a pioneer in modern journalism, believing newspapers should communicate news, not shape public opinion. To better achieve this goal, he transformed the Telegraph from a weekly to a daily in 1860. His coverage of the Civil War was much more even-handed than most newspapers of his day, though like so many Southerners, he became embittered as the war neared its end. Poor health and the loss of his son spurred him to sell the Telegraph in 1864, though he returned as editor in 1868. Now he encouraged the South to accept defeat and look forward, primarily by searching for ways to improve the area's prominently agricultural economy. Clisby also supported public education and was a member of Bibb County's first board of public education. A stroke left him an invalid in 1881, and he died at home in Macon on Feb. 26, 1885.
1864 Radical members of the Republican Party held a national convention in Cleveland, Ohio and nominated John C. Fremont for president. [Born in Savannah, Fremont had been the first presidential nominee of the new Republican Party in 1856.] The convention also adopted a platform calling for a single term for the president, direct election of the president by the people, placing Congress – not the president -- in charge of reconstruction, and confiscation of property owned by those in rebellion. In accepting the nomination, Fremont repudiated the confiscation provision.
1889 The charter for Atlanta's Capital City Club was issued. The club is still in business today.
1913 Preparing to prosecute Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan, solicitor Hugh Dorsey interviewed suspect Jim Conley for two hours. Conley was then returned to police headquarters so where he would be readily available for further questioning. The police believed Frank was guilty of Phagan's murder, but they were still concerned over "flaws and rough places" in Conley's story. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1934 Georgia politician Ronald "Bo" Ginn was born in Morgan, Ga. He graduated from Georgia Southern College. In 1972, Ginn was elected as U.S. Representative from Georgia's First District, serving from Jan. 1973 to Jan. 1983.
In 1982, Ginn unsuccessfully ran for the office of governor. He died January 6, 2005.
1955 The U.S. Supreme Court issued its second decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. The first decision in 1954 had declared that the "separate but equal" doctrine for public education violated the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment but was silent on how quickly a remedy must take effect. The second Brown decision answered that question by saying that integration of Topeka, Kansas' public schools must take place "with all deliberate speed."
As much as the first Brown decision upset white political leaders in the South, it was the second decision that precipitated the most angry reaction. Signs and billboards proclaiming "Impeach Earl Warren" were erected in many states.
Political leaders in several southern states talked of invoking the states' rights theory of interposition to nullify the Brown decisions. In January 1956, Georgia governor Marvin Griffin would introduce a "massive resistance" package of legislation to resist integration. Griffin also introduced an interposition resolution in the Georgia General Assembly, which both houses adopted – making Georgia the only southern state to actually follow through on the threat (though nothing would actually result from the attempt at interposition).
2003 Eric Rudolph, who confessed to the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, as well as abortion clinic bombings in Georgia and Alabama, was arrested in North Carolina.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1737 Thomas Causton was the first bailiff of Savannah and kept a journal of his work from May-July of 1737. His entry for this day shows how boisterous some inhabitants of the young colony could be, especially when intoxicated and remembering rivals from back home:
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. 245-246.
1838 White missionary Daniel Buttrick witnessed the roundup of Cherokees for removal to the West. On this day, he recorded in his diary:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 80.
1864 From Virginia, Sandy Pendleton of the 12 Georgia Regiment had the sad duty to write F.J. Willis about the death of his son:
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), pp. 293-295.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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