January 31

Thomas Hardwick

January 31, 1944 - Thomasville

Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, as we see in the story of former Georgia Governor Thomas Hardwick.

Born in Thomasville in 1872, Hardwick served in the state legislature in the 1890s as a staunch advocate of disenfranchising black voters. Yet later, he lost an election by opposing the Ku Klux Klan. Hardwick also served in the U.S. House and Senate.

After co-sponsoring an immigration act during World War I that deported suspected anarchists, Italian anarchists sent him a mail bomb. It blew off a servant’s hands and severely injured Hardwick’s wife. Hardwick survived and became Georgia governor in 1921. He appointed Rebecca Latimer Felton as the first woman in the U.S. Senate after Tom Watson’s death in 1922.

Hardwick lost re-election for governor after loudly opposing the rise of the new Ku Klux Klan in the early ‘20s.

The man once targeted for assassination by Italian anarchists lived for another 25 years until his death on January 31, 1944, Today in Georgia history.