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1770 Anglican minister George Whitefield [pronounced and sometimes spelled "Whitfield"] died in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Born in Gloucester, England on Dec. 16, 1714, he attended Oxford University. Just prior to graduating in 1736, Whitefield was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England. At the encouragement of friends John and Charles Wesley, Whitefield came to Georgia in 1738 and began preaching to colonists in Savannah. Three months later, he decided Georgia needed an orphanage so he returned to England to raise the necessary money.
In 1739, Whitefield returned to America by way of Philadelphia, where he began preaching with a charismatic style not associated with the Church of England. From New England to South Carolina, Whitefield had a tremendous impact on audiences. In 1740, he gave up his Savannah ministry to reach a larger audience in America, though he did succeed with creation of the Bethesda Orphanage on 500 acres granted by the Trustees near Savannah. Though his religious impact extended far beyond Georgia to both sides of the Atlantic, Whitefield maintained his interest in Bethesda Orphanage until his death in 1770.
1915 Politician and restaurant owner Lester Maddox was born in Atlanta. After dropping out of high school, he had a variety of jobs but never seemed content working for someone else.
In 1947, Maddox opened the Pickrick Restaurant, which featured home cooked food served in a cafeteria-style setting. Located near Georgia Tech, the Pickrick was so successful that it expanded a number of times until it was one of the largest restaurants in Atlanta.
After the Brown v. Board of Education decisions in 1954 and 1955, Maddox became an outspoken foe of integration and the federal government. Thereafter, he had three unsuccessful tries for political office – running twice for mayor of Atlanta and once for lieutenant governor. Though opposed to integrating schools, it was the public accommodations provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that propelled Maddox to national attention. Brandishing a pick handle, Maddox personally turned back blacks who tried to eat at the Pickrick. Losing in federal court, Maddox closed the Pickrick, declaring in a newspaper ad "THE PICKRICK WILL NEVER BE INTEGRATED!"
To many white Georgians, Maddox was now a hero for standing up to the federal government. In 1966, he ran for governor in the Democratic primary against Ellis Arnall and Jimmy Carter, coming in second to Arnall. In the subsequent run-off primary, Maddox beat Arnall. In the 1966 general election, Maddox faced a tough challenge in the person of Republican Howard "Bo" Callaway. Callaway won a plurality of votes cast in the general election, but a small write-in campaign for Ellis Arnall kept Callaway from receiving a majority of the total votes cast. At the time, Georgia's constitution provided that if no candidate won a majority in the general election, the task of choosing the governor from among the candidates would go to the General Assembly. With only 29 Republicans in the 259-member General Assembly, legislators elected Maddox by a vote of 182-66. The fact that there was no governor at the time House and Senate Democrats caucused and chose their leaders allowed legislators to break the tradition of the governor naming the speaker and committee chairmen – an important factor in the General Assembly's subsequent rise in independence from the executive. Also, the legislature's election of Maddox made him the first and so far only native-born Atlantan to serve as governor of Georgia.
As governor, Maddox surprisingly appointed many blacks to state boards and commissions and is remembered for a populist administration – one in which he regularly scheduled "People's Day" at the capitol so that anyone could come in and talk with him. Prohibited by Georgia's constitution from running for a second term, Maddox won election in 1970 as lieutenant governor (1971-75) – making him the first former governor to serve subsequently as lieutenant governor. In this capacity, he presided over the Georgia Senate during the gubernatorial administration of Jimmy Carter. Throughout Carter's term, Maddox was a frequent critic of Carter's legislative efforts – especially the Reorganization Act of 1972, which restructured the executive branch of state government. In 1974, Maddox lost in a bid to reclaim the governor's chair, and in 1976 he collected 170,000 votes in his race for the U.S. presidency as the nominee of a faction known as American Independent Party.
Maddox ran for governor once more, in 1990, but lost and retired from political life. He died in Atlanta on June 25, 2003.
1943 Political consultant Jody Powell was born in Cordele, Georgia. Graduating from Georgia State University in 1966, he also attended Emory University. Working in Jimmy Carter's 1970 gubernatorial campaign, Powell served as Carter's news secretary.
Later, Powell worked in Carter's presidential campaign and served throughout his term as White House Press Secretary. Afterwards, he became a writer and national television commentator. In 1987, Powell joined the Washington DC office of an advertising agency. In 1991, he and Sheila Tate, Nancy Reagan's former press secretary, created the new public relations firm of Powell Tate. Since then, their company has grown into one of Washington's most recognized public relations companies. Powell died of a heart attack at his home in Maryland on September 14, 2009.
1945 The Atlanta Constitution reported that department store sales in Atlanta were up 14% from the previous year, this despite several strikes at textile mills around the country. Furthermore sales were expected to stay high throughout the Christmas season. Most of the increased sales were attributed to veterans returning home from World War II.
1951 Jackie Robinson's 14th-inning homer gave the Brooklyn Dodgers a 9-8 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The extra-inning win pushed the New York Giants into a tie for first place in the National League and forced a playoff.
1974 Hephzibah banker E.B. Reville and his wife were kidnapped and held for ransom. After the payment of $30,000 Reville was found alive, but his wife was found dead on October 2, 1976.
1976 A Louis Harris poll indicated Jimmy Carter still held a 50%-41% lead over President Gerald Ford, despite some voter doubts over Carter's discussion of sex with Playboy Magazine and his proposal to raise taxes to help balance the federal budget.
Georgia cities and towns incorporated by acts approved on Sept. 30:
1879 Maysville (Jackson and Banks counties)
1891 Culverton (Hancock County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1822 In an editorial supporting popular election of Georgia's governor (then elected by the General Assembly), Savannah's Georgia Journal appealed for a constitutional amendment (which was approved in 1824):
Source: Albert Berry Saye, A Constitutional History of Georgia: 1732-1968 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1970), p. 175.
1863 The Southern Banner of Athens printed a brief, interesting account of an unusual attempt to join the Confederate army.
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