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Winner of two 2013 Emmy Awards from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Today in Georgia History
is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.

June 6

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Joseph Terrell

June 6, 1861 - Meriwether County
He was known as Georgia’s education governor, though he never attended college himself.

Joseph Terrell was born in Meriwether County in 1861 and became a lawyer by studying with a Greenville, Ga., attorney. At 23, he won a seat in the Georgia House and was in the Georgia Senate before he turned 30. Terrell supported funding the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth, which became Savannah State University, and using property taxes to fund public schools.

From the legislature, Terrell moved on to serve five terms as Georgia’s attorney general. He represented the state in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and notably won them all. Terrell was elected governor in 1902. His two terms -- marked by election, tax, and education reforms -- reflected national concerns during the Progressive Era.

The man whose creation of 11 agricultural and mechanical schools laid the foundation for Georgia’s public high schools in the 20th century was born on June 6, 1861, Today in Georgia History.

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19th century, Governor, education, politics, government, law, Supreme Court, tax, legislature, Time Continuity and Change, Power Authority and Governance

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Fast Fact

Joseph Terrell died of Bright's disease at the age of 51 and is buried at Greenville City Cemetery.

GHS Finding Aids

Thomas B. Irwin correspondence