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1789 Edward Telfair was sworn into office for his second term as Georgia governor. Born in Scotland around 1735, he immigrated to Georgia in 1766. He became a successful Savannah merchant. Telfair became active in the Whig movement, serving as a delegate to the first and second provincial congresses. During the Revolution, he served as a delegate to the Continental Congress (1778-1782) and was one of Georgia's signers of the Articles of Confederation. In 1786, the legislature elected Telfair as governor. During his one-year term, he was an active force in having Georgia's capital moved from Savannah to Augusta. He was again elected governor in 1789 and reelected for three additional terms. Telfair died in Savannah on Sept. 17, 1807. Three months after his death, the General Assembly created a new county and name it in Telfair's honor.
1809 David B. Mitchell was elected Georgia governor by the General Assembly for the first of his three two-year terms.
Born in Scotland on Oct. 22, 1766, Mitchell moved to Savannah in 1782 to claim property inherited from an uncle. He stayed, read law, and in 1789 he became a citizen and was admitted to the bar. Mitchell became a major general in the state militia. He was also active in politics, serving as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives (1794-98), superior court judge (1798-1801), U.S. attorney (1803-04), member of the Georgia Senate (1804-05), and Georgia governor (1809-13 and 1815-17). Mitchell resigned as governor to become U.S. Creek Agent. His final office was Baldwin County inferior court judge (1828-37). He died in Milledgeville on Apr. 22, 1837.
1831 Wilson Lumpkin was sworn in as Georgia governor for the first of two consecutive two-year terms. Born in Pittsylvania County, Va. on Jan. 14, 1783, Lumpkin came to Georgia with his family the next year. Although he never attended college, he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1804 – the same year he won elected to the General Assembly. Lumpkin later served in Congress (1827-31), Georgia governor (1831-35) and U.S. Senator (1837-41).
Throughout his political career, he was a consistent advocate for Cherokee removal – a fact that led the General Assembly to create Lumpkin County in Cherokee territory in Dec. 1832. After retiring from the Senate, Lumpkin pushed for construction of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. His support for the W&A led the General Assembly in 1843 to incorporate the village of Terminus with the new name of Marthasville in honor of Lumpkin's daughter, Martha. Lumpkin died in Athens on Dec. 28, 1870.
1853 Herschel Johnson was sworn in as Georgia governor for the first of two consecutive two-year terms. Born in Burke County on Sept. 18, 1812, he graduated from the University of Georgia in 1834. Reading law in Augusta, he was admitted to the bar in 1834. After practicing law in Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville, Johnson became active in politics. In 1848, he was appointed to fill a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate, where he served a year. Additionally, he served as a superior court judge from 1849 to 1853, when he was elected governor.
In 1858, the General Assembly created a new Georgia county and named it in Johnson's honor. In the presidential election of 1860, Johnson ran for the vice presidency with Stephen Douglas. After the Civil War, the legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate, but that body would not seat him. Johnson's political rights were restored in 1872, and he was subsequently appointed as a superior court judge – a position he held until his death in Jefferson County on Aug. 16, 1880.
1864 From Kingston, Ga., Gen. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 to organize the Army of the Tennessee into two forces – a right wing under Maj.- Gen. Oliver Howard and a left wing under Maj.- Gen. Henry Slocum – for the upcoming march from Atlanta to Savannah.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1886 John B. Gordon was sworn in as Georgia governor for the first of two consecutive two-year terms. Born in Upson County on Feb. 6, 1832, he attended the University of Georgia for two years, but withdrew and read law. Gordon was admitted to the bar in 1854 and practiced law in Atlanta. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Gordon rose through the ranks eventually becoming one of three Georgians to hold the rank of lieutenant general. After the war, he served as U.S. Senator (1873-80), Georgia governor (1886-90), and again U.S. Senator (1891-97). Gordon died in Miami on Jan. 9, 1904.
1932 President-Elect Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a nationwide radio address from his home in New York, thanking the country for its support in the election. He also announced that he would be spending Thanksgiving in his "second home" in Warm Springs, Georgia.
1948 The U.S. Post Office issued a 3-cent Moina Michael commemorative stamp in first-day-of-issue ceremonies in Athens, Ga. Born in Good Hope, Ga. on Aug. 15, 1869, she is best remembered as "The Poppy Lady," a name she was given for originating Poppy Day to sell poppies for the benefit of disabled and needy veterans.
1954 Former Georgia governor Clifford Walker died. Born on July 4, 1877 in Monroe, Georgia, Walker was elected to two two-year terms as governor (1923-27). [See July 4 entry for biographical information on Walker.]
1956 Atlanta-born Mattiwilda Dobbs became the first African American to sing a romantic lead at the Metropolitan Opera.
1996 Evander Holyfield, a 7-2 underdog, beat Mike Tyson in the 11th round to capture the WBA heavyweight title in Las Vegas. In winning, Holyfield became the second boxer in history to win the heavyweight title three times.
1997 WBA champion Evander Holyfield beat IBF champion Michael Moorer with a TKO in the 8th round to claim the WBA-IBF world heavyweight championship title in Las Vegas. [For a CNN-Sports Illustrated wrap up of the fight with photos, click here.] For his victory, the 35-year-old Atlantan received $20 million, boosting his career earnings to $167 million. In April 1994, Holyfield lost the WBA-IBF crown to Moorer, whose professional record coming into the fight was 39-2. Holyfield's win left only WBC champion Lennox Lewis standing in the way of the unified world championship.
2011 Georgia winners at the 2011 County Music Association Awards presentation in Nashville were Sugarland (Vocal Duo of the Year), Lady Antebellum (Vocal Group of the Year), and Jason Aldean (Album of the Year for "My Kinda Party" and Musical Event of the Year for "Don't You Wanna Stay" with Kelly Clarkson).
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
Source: George Fenwick Jones and Renate Wilson (trans. and ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America . . . Edited by Samuel Urlsperger, Vol. 4, 1737 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1976), p. 193.
1765 From Savannah, Georgia royal governor James Wright wrote the British Board of Trade about the murder of three colonists by Creek Indians. He also noted his resolve to administer the Stamp Act once instructions and stamped paper was received but warned that opposition to that act had spread from the other colonies into Georgia:
Source: Kenneth Coleman and Milton Ready (eds.), Colonial Records of the State of Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979), Vol. 28, Part 2, pp. 129-130.
1797 The following letter from Colonel Thomas Butler to Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins shows not all military leaders favored forcible removal of Indians from their lands:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. IX, Letters of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796-1806 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1916), p. 221.
1864 In Columbus, Ga., John Banks recorded the status of the Civil War in Georgia:
Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), pp. 34.
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