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1879 Mary Ethel Creswell born was born in Ansenville, Penn. She was a pioneer in home economics education and extension service work in Georgia. After beginning her career as a teacher in Walton County, Georgia (1901), Creswell steadily moved up the education ladder. She became principal of the State Normal School in Athens, worked with a new extension program for girls and women through the Georgia State College of Agriculture, and eventually served as field agent for girl's and women's work in fifteen southern states while working for the U. S. Extension Service.
Creswell returned to Georgia in 1915 to direct the state's home economics program under the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. In 1918 the University of Georgia made Creswell the head of the Division of Home Economics. She was the first recipient of a degree from this program, thus becoming the first woman to receive a degree from the University. After the University's reorganization in 1933, Creswell became the first dean of the University's School of Home Economics. She remained in this position until her retirement in 1945. Creswell received numerous awards and commendations for her work, becoming the first woman president of the UGA chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi. In 1949 she became the first woman recipient of the Georgia Alumni award for outstanding service to the University. Creswell, for whom the University of Georgia's Creswell Hall is named, died at home in Athens on August 7, 1960.
1915 Georgia Gov. Nathaniel Harris and other city and state officials officially welcomed a group of Northern tourists participating in a Dixie Highway motorcade. The group had spent the previous night in Chattanooga, and after an afternoon visit to Rome proceeded to Atlanta. The purpose of their highly publicized visit was to promote completion of the new Dixie Highway, which when completed would allow motorists to drive from Chicago to Miami on good roads.
Trailing the procession was a baggage car that proclaimed, "600,000 Automobile Owners Are Awaiting the Completion of the Dixie Highway to See the South."
Atlanta Constitution editor Clark Howell had been a leading force in inviting such motorcades in order to stress need for better roads in Georgia.
And to emphasize the importance of a good turnout, the front page of this day's issue of the Constitution sent out an appeal:
1918 The Spanish influenza epidemic sweeping the nation hit Macon, with 250 new cases reported in the previous 48 hours.
In response, Macon citizens began wearing flu masks, which were simple rectangular sheets of cotton cloth or gauze large enough to cover the mouth and nose, with attached strings to tie behind the head. (Doctors later discovered that the masks were ineffective in preventing the spread of the flu virus.)
In Atlanta, Camp Gordon ended its military quarantine, which had been in place for several weeks due to the flu epidemic. But the scare was not over. Maj. Joel B. Mallett, selective service officer for Georgia, instructed all local boards of health to cease physical exams for new military registrants until further notice – effectively stemming the draft (albeit temporarily). While this was ordered as a preventative measure against the flu, it also was possible because Allied armies were on the brink of defeating Germany at the time. For more information on the pandemic, see PBS's The American Experience: Influenza 1918 web site.
1930 On October 15, American Airways inaugurated Contract Air Mail Route 33 providing direct air mail and passenger service between Atlanta and Los Angeles. This was the first flight on the so-called Southern Transcontinental Route.
The envelope shown below was flown on that flight and was autographed by Atlanta postmaster Edwin K. Large.
1976 Campaigning in Detroit, Jimmy Carter blasted the Republican administration for failing to lead the fight against widespread crime, while setting a "terrible example" themselves, referring to the Watergate scandal.
1991 The U.S. Senate confirmed Georgian Clarence Thomas to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Georgia towns and cities incorporated by acts approved on Oct. 15:
1887 Ocean City [later renamed Savannah Beach, and still later Tybee Beach] (Chatham County) and Tarver (Echols County)
1891 Whitehall (Clarke County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1861 From Camp Bartow, Va., Georgia Confederate soldier Shephard Pryor wrote his wife a very personal view of what he thought about during battle:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), pp. 76-78.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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