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This Day in Georgia History

August 11, 1938

FDR Spoke in Barnesville

During a speech in Barnesville, with Georgia Senator Walter F. George on the stage behind him, President Franklin D. Roosevelt publicly criticized George for not supporting the Democratic Party and the New Deal, and urged voters to choose George’s opponent - Lawrence Camp - in the upcoming election. George responded by warning the president that some of his programs threatened state rights and white supremacy. At the time, George was campaigning for reelection in the Democratic primaries and faced stiff competition by Camp and New Deal foe Eugene Talmadge. However, Roosevelt’s public chastisement of George in his Barnesville speech, and George’s response, undercut Talmadge’s efforts to tie George to Roosevelt and the New Deal. After the speech, many Georgians rallied to George’s campaign, and he went on to win reelection.