congress

August 24, 1942

Max Cleland

A Georgia hero was born in Atlanta on this day in 1942. Joseph Maxwell Cleland — “Max” — grew up in Lithonia. While enrolled at Emory, Cleland joined the Army and went to Vietnam. On April 8, 1968, Capt. Cleland was serving in the 1st Cavalry Division at Khe Sanh when he lost both legs […]

August 31, 1992

Charles Weltner

He was a Georgia congressman who courageously spoke out for racial equality at a time when few white leaders did. Charles Weltner was born in 1927 in Atlanta and graduated from Columbia School of Law before a stint in the U.S. Army. As an Atlanta lawyer, he spoke out against racial violence in the wake […]

July 16, 1963

Carl Vinson

Carl Vinson believed public service was an honorable profession, and by the time he retired, he had served in Congress longer than anyone in history. Vinson was born in Baldwin County in 1883. In 1914 he became the youngest member of Congress and served over 50 years, 25 consecutive terms. Vinson became an expert on […]

August 2, 1776

Georgia Delegates Sign Declaration of Independence

Georgia joined The United States on August 2, 1776, the same day that Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. The declaration was approved on July 4, but signed by only one man that day, John Hancock. Fifty other delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress signed on August […]

June 17, 1992

Grace Towns Hamilton

She was the first African-American woman elected to the Georgia Legislature. Grace Towns Hamilton was born in Atlanta in 1907. She graduated from Atlanta University in 1927 before earning a masters degree in psychology from Ohio State. Hamilton taught college for the next decade before she was appointed executive director of the Atlanta Urban League […]

May 30, 1910

Ralph Metcalfe

He was called the “World’s Fastest Human,” and he excelled on and off the track. Ralph Metcalfe was born in Atlanta in 1910 and became one of the fastest track stars in the world. He won a host of national titles and tied the world record in the 100 and 200 meters. Metcalfe competed in […]

April 26, 1856

George Troup

When Georgia had its first showdown with the federal government in the 1820s, Washington blinked. George Michael Troup had faced down the president. Originally from Alabama, Troup served in the Georgia Legislature, and the U.S. House and Senate, before his election as Georgia governor in 1823. In 1825, determined to drive the Creek Indians from […]

April 20, 1824

Alfred Colquitt

Alfred Colquitt had an imposing resume: Ivy League graduate, Mexican War veteran, Confederate general, congressman, governor and senator. Born in Walton County in 1824, Colquitt graduated from Princeton, then practiced law in Monroe until he fought in the Mexican War, rising to the rank of major. He was elected to the U.S. Congress during the […]

April 2, 1814

Henry L. Benning

A U.S. Army fort in Columbus is named for a man who waged war against the U.S. Army. Henry Benning, born in Columbia County, was one of Georgia’s most outspoken disunionists. During the sectional crisis of the 1850s, Benning defended slavery. He ran for Congress on a Southern rights platform and lost. But he found […]

April 5, 1977

Wyche Fowler, Jr.

Wyche Fowler, Jr. was once known as the “night mayor of City Hall” working as a troubleshooter for Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. As a 29-year-old law student, Fowler won election to Atlanta’s City Council in 1970. He lost a congressional bid to Andrew Young in 1972. But when Young became ambassador to the United […]