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1883 Politician Carl Vinson was born in Baldwin County, Georgia. One of the most influential national legislators of the twentieth century, Vinson's legislative career spanned fifty years and one month – a record of longevity that stood until 1994. Vinson was noted particularly for his dedication to the United States Armed Services. To honor him, the Institute of Government at the University of Georgia was formally named the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in 1983.
1895 John Phillip
Sousa and his fifty-piece band premiered at the Cotton States
and International Exposition. For the special occasion, Sousa had composed "King Cotton March," which was received by enthusiastic, cheering audiences at two concerts performed on this day.
1909 Song writer Johnny Mercer was born in Savannah. Mercer was fascinated with music as a youth and at age fifteen wrote his first song – a piece for his sister. Hoping to become an actor, he went to New York with an amateur theater group in 1928. While auditioning for a show the next year, he met Elizabeth "Ginger" Meehan, who became his wife in 1931. Mercer did not earn an acting role in the show, but did write a song that was used – "Out of Breath and Scared to Death." With the contacts he had made in New York and his remarkable song writing talents, Mercer was soon collaborating with some of the nation's most prominent musicians, such as Hoagy Carmichael, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, and Bing Crosby. In 1935 he moved to Hollywood, where his career soared, writing songs for both popular musicians and film scores.
While Mercer lived in California from 1935, he never forgot his ties to Georgia. He kept a country home near the Wormsloe plantation on Burnside Island near Savannah. In 1962, the Chatham County Commission renamed Black River (near his home) after one of Mercer's biggest hits – Moon River. Mercer died on June 25, 1976, in Bel Aire, Calif., but his ashes were buried in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.
President Gerald Ford eulogized him as a man whose "mellow voice revealed that he was a child of the South; but his phrases were full of affection for people everywhere." The following are some of Mercer's famous works:
In 1996, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring Johnny Mercer.
1933 On his twenty-seventh visit to Georgia, President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled by train from Washington, D.C. to Savannah to mark the commemoration of Georgia's bicentennial. He arrived at Savannah's Union station on the morning of Nov. 18, where he was greeted by a host of politicians and other dignitaries. Roosevelt left in the train station in a motorcade that drove through downtown Savannah. Riding with FDR in his open-air limo were Savannah mayor Thomas Gamble, Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge, and Roosevelt's mother, Sara.
After the motorcade through Savannah, the procession traveled to Savannah's Municipal Stadium, where Roosevelt was to deliver a speech later that morning. Admission to the 40,000-seat stadium was by ticket only, and there were far more requests for tickets than available seating in the stadium.
Roosevelt's speech [see text] dealt with the United States' formal recognition of the Soviet Union the day before, as well as his plans for a New Deal to get America out of the Great Depression. After his well-received speech, Roosevelt boarded the train for a two-week visit to Warm Springs that would include Thanksgiving dinner. For more on FDR's visit to Savannah click here.
1949 Cairo, Georgia-born Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers was named the National League's Most Valuable Player.
1964 A host of Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson's friends gathered in Milledgeville to honor him on his 81st birthday. Vinson was retiring after fifty years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaking at the occasion were Georgia senators Richard B. Russell, Jr. and Herman Talmadge, and Governor Carl Sanders. Additionally, president Lyndon Johnson sent a congratulatory telegram.
1973 President and Mrs. Richard M. Nixon and party arrived in the Spirit of '76 at Warner Robins Air Force Base for a three-hour visit at Mercer University in Macon to honor the 90th birthday of former Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson and to pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of Mercer's Walter F. George School of Law.
At the ceremonies, President Richard Nixon announced that the next American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would be named the USS Carl Vinson.
1978 The NAACP presented its Spingarn Medal to United Nations Ambassador Andrew J. Young "in recognition of the deftness with which he has handled relations between this nation and other countries" and "for his major role in raising the consciousness of American citizens to the significance in world affairs of the massive African continent."
Instituted in 1914, the Spingarn Medal is awarded annually "for the highest or noblest achievement by an American Negro during the preceding year or years."
Blauser's departure came on the same day as the Braves lost pitcher Terrell Wade and two lesser-known players to the new Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team.
1997 The Atlanta
Hawks beat the Washington Wizards in overtime 98-89 winning their
11th consecutive game since the opening of the season. The win
was a club record for consecutive wins to open a season--and the
6th best start in the history of professional basketball. The
all-time record is 15 straight wins to open a season – a mark
held by the Houston Rockets (1993) and the Washington Capitols
Glavine spent his first sixteen major league seasons pitching for the Braves, before a five year stint with the New York Mets – where he won his 300th career game in 2007. The highlight of Glavine's career in Atlanta was pitching one hit, shutout baseball for eight innings in the sixth game of the 1995 World Series, in which the Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians 1-0 to become world champions.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1766 Over three decades after the founding of Georgia, colonists were still almost totally dependent upon manufactured goods made in, or shipped from, Britain, as noted in a letter from royal governor James Wright to the British Board of Trade:
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. 1, p. 221.
1862 On September 22, President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. On this day the The Southern Recorder of Milledgeville, Georgia printed an editorial showing an extreme reaction to the proclamation and how seriously many white southerners viewed the idea of abolition.
1864 After numerous letters and telegrams were sent to the Confederate War Department pleading for troops to be sent to Georgia to stop Sherman's March to the Sea, Confederate president Jefferson Davis telegraphed Gen. Howell Cobb in Macon. His message followed by eleven days his controversial proposal to the Confederate Congress for "the enrollment of 40,000 negroes to be employed as pioneer and engineer laborers." Davis also proposed using explosive mines (then known as "subterra shells") to impede Sherman's progress:
Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Series I, Vol. XLIV, p. 865.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 In his memoirs, General Sherman wrote of this day:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman's Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p. 149-150.
1864 From her plantation near Covington, Ga., Dolly Lunt Burge wrote of Sherman's arrival in her journal:
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