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This Day in Georgia History

July 31, 1871

Ben Hill’s New South Speech

Henry Grady is often credited with the “New South” movement. But, on this day fifteen years prior to Grady’s famous speech in New York City, former Confederate senator Benjamin Hill issued the first call for a new South in a speech to the University of Georgia Alumni Society as part of commencement activities. Hill’s address, which was reprinted in part in the Aug. 2 issue of the Atlanta Constitution, had a mixed reception in Georgia.