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1854 Lawyer and politician William Y. Atkinson was born in Oakland, Ga. Atkinson graduated from the University of Georgia in 1877 after being named champion debater for the Demosthenian Literary Society. After graduation, he began a flourishing law practice in Newnan. In 1879, he was appointed solicitor of the Coweta superior court circuit. In 1886, Atkinson was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives – and by 1892 he was named Speaker. While serving in the General Assembly, Atkinson was instrumental in creation of the Georgia Normal and Industrial School for Girls (now Georgia College and State University) in Milledgeville.
Atkinson was elected governor in 1894 and reelected in 1896, both hard-fought elections. As governor, he hired Ellen Dortch to serve as assistant state librarian--the first woman with an official position in Georgia state government. He also spoke out against lynching, established a prison commission to curb some of the worse abuses then prevalent in the system, and supported increased funding for education. In 1897 Atkinson vetoed a bill which would have outlawed football in the state of Georgia, passed after the death of University of Georgia football player Richard Von Gammon (see Oct. 30 TDGH entry). After a second term as governor, Atkinson returned to his law practice in Newnan. On a trip to Florida in 1899, he came down with dysentery and died on August 8, 1899. He is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan. The General Assembly named a southwest Georgia county in his honor on August 15, 1917.
1864 Sherman's forces completed the burning of Rome, Georgia. Though many homes were spared, mills, warehouses, depots, wagon shops, tanneries, commercial buildings, bridges, and a host of other structures were torched.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1889 Gov. John B. Gordon signed legislation limiting the number of hours mill workers could be required to work to 11 hours a day or 66 hours a week.
1918 Fighting in World War One came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany. Word reached Georgia that morning and the celebrations began. Gov. Hugh Dorsey closed all state offices and declared the day a state holiday. Atlanta mayor Candler gave city employees the afternoon off, while city schools held patriotic ceremonies before releasing students. Many Atlanta-area business closed for the day. All day long, downtown Atlanta was filled with crowds and impromptu parades. Similar celebrations were held throughout the state as Georgians rejoiced at the end of what had been labeled "the war to end all wars."
1972 Allman Brothers bass guitarist Berry Oakley was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon. In a bizarre coincidence, his death occurred just three blocks from where Duane Allman had been killed in motorcycle accident a year earlier.
1984 Martin Luther King Sr. died in Atlanta at age 84.
1996 Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux's streak of four consecutive Cy Young awards ended when fellow Braves pitcher John Smoltz won the award for 1996. Smoltz was 24-8 with a 2.94 ERA, winning 14 consecutive decisions from Apr. 9 - June 19.
1978 Georgia Tech running back Eddie Lee Ivery rushed for 356 yards to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 42-21 victory over Air Force.
1988 The Georgia Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in Atlanta at the Floyd Office Building, across the street from the state capitol.
1997 Dedication ceremonies were held for a state monument honoring Georgia's World War I veterans located in front of the Floyd Veterans Memorial Building across the street from the state capitol. The memorial lists the names of the 1,937 Georgians who were killed during the war. The monument contains a map, showing how the war unfolded, plus quotes of President Woodrow Wilson and General John J. Pershing and poems associated with the war.
2009 Georgia based winners at the Academy of Country Music Awards were:
Sugarland for Vocal Duo of the Year, for the third consecutive year.
Georgia cities and towns created by acts approved on Nov. 11:
1889 Emerson (Bartow County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1738 After word had reached the Trustees in London of possible mishandling of goods and accounts by Savannah storekeeper and magistrate Thomas Causton, James Oglethorpe traveled to Savannah to personally investigate complaints against Causton, as indicated by this journal entry from Trustees secretary William Stephens:
Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([no city cited]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. I, p. 325.
1980 The Red and Black, University of Georgia student run newspaper, printed a story on the Georgia Bulldogs' miraculous victory over Florida (see November 8) and their new number one national ranking.
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