Governor

August 13, 1921

Georgia Women Gain Vote

The women of Georgia finally got the right to vote on this day in 1921 when Governor Thomas Hardwick signed the act that made it official. The suffrage movement had been slow to gain ground in the South. Many women joined men in arguing that there was no more important job than wife and mother, […]

August 20, 1933

Georgians at Chicago World’s Fair

On August 20, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge led 500 Georgians to Chicago’s Second World’s Fair, where it was Georgia Day. The fair was officially known as the “Century of Progress Exposition.” With the country mired in the Great Depression, Gov. Talmadge predicted “events of this kind will surely turn the trick and bring back prosperity.” […]

August 5, 1889

Conrad Aiken

A childhood tragedy would haunt poet and author Conrad Aiken all of his life, and provide the psychological foundation for much of his writing. Perhaps Georgia’s most famous poet, Aiken was born in Savannah. When he was only 11 years old, his father killed his mother and then committed suicide. Later, Aiken attended Harvard and […]

August 8, 1899

William Yates Atkinson

Not many governors had to prove their courage by facing down a lynch mob. William Yates Atkinson did. The two-term governor was one of Georgia’s most progressive voices in an era known more for racial demagogues. Born in 1854 in Oakland, Ga., Atkinson practiced law in Newnan in 1893, he became one of Georgia’s youngest […]

July 11, 1733

First Jewish Settlers in Georgia

They were originally banned from the Georgia colony, but when 42 Jewish immigrants from Europe arrived in Savannah on this day in 1733, James Oglethorpe welcomed them. The migrants arrived onboard the ship William and Sarah on a trip financed by members of a London synagogue. Of the 43, 34 were Sephardic Jews, of Spanish […]

July 14, 1976

Jimmy Carter Presidential Nomination

Jimmy who? Jimmy Carter, the original “Washington outsider” to run for the presidency, was still governor of Georgia when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in December 1974. Constitutionally barred from a second term as governor and still young at 50, Carter thought his outsider status, strong principles, and reform agenda […]

July 15, 1854

George Towns

Political flip-flopping is nothing new. George Washington Bonaparte Towns began his political life as a staunch Unionist. Born in 1801 in Wilkes County, Towns’ career followed a familiar path in the antebellum South: lawyer, militia officer, and representative in the Georgia House and Senate, where he opposed the states rights politics of South Carolinian John […]

July 20, 1988

Democratic National Convention

The Democratic Party came to Atlanta in 1988 to choose its champion to take on Vice President George Bush, the shoo-in republican nominee as President Reagan’s heir apparent. By the time Democrats gathered at the Omni in Atlanta for four days in July 1988, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis had won a hotly contested nomination […]

June 30, 1785

James Oglethorpe Died

The colony he founded is now the largest of the United States east of the Mississippi. James Edward Oglethorpe was born in 1696 in London and was educated at Oxford. He gained valuable military experience in the Austrian army fighting the Turks. Oglethorpe chaired a parliamentary committee charged with prison reform. It inspired him and […]

July 3, 1918

Ernest Vandiver

He was one Southern governor who chose not to stand in the schoolhouse door. Ernest Vandiver was born in Canon, Georgia, in 1918 and graduated from the University of Georgia before serving as a bomber pilot in World War II. Elected governor in 1958, Vandiver cleaned up the state’s image after the scandals and corruption […]