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1732 In London, Georgia's Trustees decided that the new colony's first settlement would be located on the Savannah River and would be named Savannah.
1783 Georgia commissioners and Creek chiefs signed a treaty at Augusta that was identical with a treaty signed by the Cherokees earlier on May 31 – also at Augusta. The two documents – referred to as the Treaty of Augusta – ceded to Georgia the land between the Ogeechee and Oconee rivers. However, Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray and many of his followers refused to recognize the treaty, and questions of its legality would continue until the Treaty of New York in 1790.
1788 Merchant, soldier, and politician Samuel Elbert died in Savannah, Georgia. Born in 1740 in Savannah (or possibly South Carolina), Elbert was one of the earliest successful merchants in the Georgia colony. Owning a considerable amount of land and running a profitable import business, he naturally was interested in British economic policies toward the colonies in the years preceding the American Revolution. Elbert was also a military leader and had risen to the rank of captain in the Georgia militia before war broke out with England. He was a major participant in the group of Patriots who regularly met at Tondee's Tavern in Savannah to plot resistance to the British. By February 1776, Elbert had been commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the first Continental troops assembled in Georgia. During the next three years, he was active in virtually all the Georgia patriot military encounters against the British. On March 3, 1779, Elbert was taken prisoner after the Battle of Briar Creek. Two years later, he was exchanged for a British general, promoted to brigadier general in the Continental Army, and immediately reported to General George Washington for duty. Elbert was on hand for the great American victory at Yorktown, Virginia and was placed in charge of the large deposit of arms and military stores taken in the battle.
Elbert returned to Savannah after the war to resume overseeing his commercial business (left in disarray by the war), but soon was called upon for political service. In 1783 he acted as treaty commissioner for the Indian talks, and the following year was chosen as a delegate to the Continental Congress (though he declined to serve). In 1785, the General Assembly elected Elbert governor of Georgia by a nearly unanimous vote. Even though his health was beginning to fail, Elbert accepted this position with enthusiasm, devoting much of his attention to defense and Creek relations – matters with which he was already very familiar. Also noteworthy during his one-year term as governor was the passage of the act chartering a state University of Georgia. After his term as governor, Elbert served one year as sheriff of Chatham County – but by then his health was failing badly. He died November 1, 1788, and was buried near his home in Savannah. On December 10, 1790, the General Assembly named Georgia's 13th county in his honor [click here for more on Elbert County]. In 1924, Elbert's remains were re-interred in the Colonial Cemetery in Savannah.
1815 Physician Crawford W. Long was born in Danielsville, Georgia. Long received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839.
After a brief stint working in New York hospitals, Long returned to his home state to take over a rural practice in Jefferson, Georgia. While in college, Long had some experience with "ether frolics" and thought there was some possibility of the development of an anesthetic to lessen or remove the extreme pain surgery patients of his time had to endure. He did not have access to the nitrous oxide which had been used in his college experiences, so he began experimenting with sulfuric ether. Careful observation showed him that patients suffered no pain when under the effects of this gas, even when severely cut or bruised.
Long took the inevitable next step on March 30, 1842. His patient, James M. Venable, was rendered unconscious by sulfuric ether, then had a cyst removed. When Venable regained consciousness he felt no pain at all! Over the course of the next four years Long performed other surgeries using sulfuric ether, but he had not officially recorded his findings. Thus, as word of his success spread, others claimed to have been the first to successfully use the gas in surgery. It would not be until a year before his death that he was clearly proclaimed to be the true pioneer of surgical anesthesia. Meanwhile Long had moved to Athens, Georgia in 1850 where he quietly continued to practice, modestly avoiding the limelight that could have been his due. He died in Athens on June 19, 1878. An interesting footnote to Long's story: his fee for the anesthesia and surgery he performed on James Venable – two dollars!
In 1920, the General Assembly proposed and voters ratified a constitutional amendment to create a new county named in honor of Crawford Long. Also, in 1926, Georgia placed a marble statue of Long in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. In 1937, the marble statue of Long (shown above) was placed on the grounds of the old Madison County courthouse in Danielsville, Georgia. On April 8, 1940, the U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp honoring Long.
1826 The Macon Telegraph began publication.
1937 Country music song writer and singer Bill Anderson was born in Columbia, South Carolina. His family moved to Georgia, where they lived in Griffin and Decatur. Anderson majored in journalism at the University of Georgia. From Athens, he took became a disc jockey in nearby Commerce. Here, he began writing and recording songs. One of these – "City Lights" – became a hit in 1955 and changed his career. After graduating in 1959, Anderson headed to Nashville, where he began composing a series of hit songs. His greatest hit – "Still"– came in 1963. He went on to compose more than 500 songs and record some 40 albums.
1959 St. Simons Island-born Jim Brown scored 5 touchdowns in the Cleveland Browns 38-31 victory over the Baltimore Colts – a club record for the most rushing touchdowns.
1964 Georgia-born Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns became the first professional football player to rush for 10,000 yards.
1976 Jimmy Carter finished his 461,000-mile presidential campaign with a rally in Flint, Michigan – President Gerald Ford's home state. Polls showed the race to be a dead heat. After the Flint rally, Carter flew home to Plains, Georgia aboard his campaign airplane, nicknamed "Peanut One."
1980 In a titanic struggle between two highly ranked teams featuring the two best running backs in the nation, the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 13-10 to remain undefeated in their 1980 national championship season. South Carolina senior running back George Rogers, who would go on to win the Heisman trophy for this season, was upstaged by Georgia freshman phenomenon Herschel Walker. Rogers (a native of Duluth, Georgia who was recruited to South Carolina by Ray Goff, ex-Georgia quarterback and future Georgia coach) gained 174 yards, but had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter as South Carolina was attempting to rally. Walker outdid his counterpart by rushing for 225 yards, including an incredible 76 yard touchdown run in which he exhibited his blazing speed by running past three defenders who all seemed to have an angle to force him out of bounds. With this victory, Georgia moved to number two in both national polls, setting up a showdown with arch-rival Florida the following week.
1980 Nine year old
Aaron Jackson disappeared in Atlanta; his strangled body was discovered the
following day. He was the latest victim in the Atlanta
Child Murders case.
1997 Coming into the game having lost every football match up with the University of Florida since 1989, never having beat coach Steve Spurrier, and being ranked 20-point underdogs, the Georgia Bulldogs won one of their greatest victories in modern UGA history, beating the nationally ranked Florida Gators in Jacksonville by the score of 37-17. Ironically, Georgia's 20-point margin of victory was exactly what the experts had predicted they would lose by).
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1732 Sir John Percival (who would become the first Earl of Egmont) wrote in his journal of Trustee proceedings several important decisions made by Georgia's Trustees with respect to the new colony:
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. 7.
1864 Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote his wife from his quarters outside of occupied Atlanta:
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 With Sherman in Atlanta, poised to begin the March to the Sea, The Confederate Union of Milledgeville published an appeal from General Howell Cobb for all the people of Georgia to do whatever they could to overthrow the Northerners invaders.
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