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1739 Aware that England was about to declare war on Spain, James Oglethorpe called on Savannah militia members to fall into formation.
With drums beating and local magistrates in their official robes, he announced that Britain and Spain were now at war (though the official declaration did not come until Oct. 23). Aware that on the North American mainland, Georgia would probably be the first battlefield in this war, Oglethorpe warned colonists to be on alert. The militia saluted the announcement with three rifle vollies, and a cannon was fired.
Thus, Georgia prepared for what would be called the War of Jenkins' Ear.
1790 Cherokee chief John Ross was born in Turkey Town (near present-day Center, Alabama) in the Cherokee Nation.
Born of a white father, and a three-quarter white mother, Ross had only limited Cherokee blood. He received a white education, but chose to live with the Cherokees. In the early 1800s, he settled on the Tennessee River at the present-day site of Chattanooga, where he ran a ferry and warehouse at a site known as Ross's Landing.
Later, he became a wealthy planter and in 1827 moved to Georgia. At the confluence of the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers, he founded the community known as Head of Coosa at the present-day site of Rome. After the Cherokees established their national capital at New Echota, Ross was elected as principal chief of the Cherokees. In this capacity, he vainly fought U.S. and Georgia efforts to move the Cherokees to the West. Ross died during a visit to Washington, D.C. on August 1, 1866.
1833 The new South Carolina Canal and Rail Road from Charleston to Hamburg, South Carolina was completed.
At the time, the 136-mile line was the longest railroad in the world. While South Carolina was excited about the new railroad, Georgia officials were concerned. Hamburg was just across the Savannah River from Augusta. Should a railroad bridge be built across the Savannah at Hamburg, Georgia cotton planters would be tempted to ship their goods to Charleston rather than Augusta or Savannah. So Augusta officials refused to allow construction of a railroad bridge to connect Augusta with Hamburg.
1918 At the state Democratic convention in Macon, Tom Watson abandoned his attempts to contest the tenth district primary election (which he had lost). When the Watson forces admitted defeat, it left the winner of the Democratic primary unopposed for the general election. This winner was to become a fixture in the U.S. House of Representatives for a half century – Carl Vinson.
1922 Following the death of U.S. Senator Tom Watson, on this day Georgia Gov. Thomas Hardwick appointed Rebecca Latimer Felton to temporarily fill Watson's seat until Walter F. George, elected in a special election, could officially take office.
Felton was 87 years old at the time, and Gov. Hardwick was attempting to honor her for a life of service to causes in which she believed. She took the appointment seriously, though many senators opposed her actually being allowed to take the oath of office. Initially denied a chance to officially become a senator, Felton attended Senate sessions on Nov. 21 and 22 and sat in the gallery. Through the efforts of Walter George, senators finally gave in and Felton was officially sworn in becoming the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.
1924 Seeking a cure for the paralysis left after an attack of polio in 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Warm Springs, Georgia for his first visit to a place which he would come to regard as his "second home." It was Roosevelt's second visit overall to Georgia; the first had been before he contracted polio.
1936 Legendary football coach John Heisman died in New York City. During college, he played football lineman. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1892, he took football coaching jobs at Oberlin (1894), Auburn (1895-99), Clemson (1900-03), Georgia Tech (1904-19), Pennsylvania (1920-22), Washington and Jefferson (1923), and Rice (1924-27). During his coaching career, Heisman brought many innovations to college football, such as the forward pass, snapping the ball from center, vocal signals from the quarterback, numbers on jerseys, and four quarters in a game. During his years in Atlanta, Georgia Tech never had a losing season, and his 1916 team trounced Cumberland in a record score of 222-0.
After coaching, Heisman became athletic director of New York City's Downtown Athletic Club. Following his death, the Downtown Athletic Club created the Heisman Trophy to recognize the nation's outstanding collegiate football player.
1949 Atlanta's first black radio station – WERD – began operation.
1976 Jimmy Carter was back home in Plains preparing for his second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 6.
1987 Lithonia, Georgia celebrated a "Brenda Lee Day" in honor of the popular singer who had spent her childhood there. Brenda Lee herself was on hand for the celebration, which included a parade and naming a street after her.
1999 Playing at home, the Atlanta Braves beat the Florida Marlins by the score of 18-0 – the largest shutout victory since the Boston Braves won 18-0 on Oct. 3, 1885. Playing the last game of the regular season, the Braves ended the season 103-59 – the best record in the major leagues for 1999.
2010 The Atlanta Braves clinched a wild card playoff spot with an 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and a San Diego Padre loss. It was also the final regular season game for manager Bobby Cox - ending his 25th season as the Braves' manager. And it was a first for him - the Braves had been to playoffs numerous times during Cox's managerial term, but always as division champions. This year was the first year that they earned a wild card berth.
Georgia towns and cities incorporated by acts approved on October 3:
1889 Adel (Berrien County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1738 Throughout the first two decades of Georgia's existence, the Trustees continually faced the problem of inadequate financial resources to support the colony. One reason was unanticipated expenses that continually arose, as evidenced by this letter from colonist Isaac Gibbs in Georgia to the Trustees:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. II, pp. 349-350.
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