law

May 6, 2003

Carl Isaacs Executed

Truman Capote made the Clutter family murders in Kansas famous in his book In Cold Blood. Georgia’s counterpart was the Alday family murders, one of the most notorious cases in Georgia history. Carl Isaacs and two other men escaped from a Maryland prison in May 1973 and picked up Carl’s 15-year-old brother Billy. They killed […]

May 2, 1981

Murder in Savannah Inspires Bestselling Book

In Savannah it’s “the book.” John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was published in January 1994. The non-fiction account of antiques dealer Jim Williams’ trial for murdering Danny Hansford became a major bestseller. Waves of welcome tourists flooded Savannah, searching for the places and characters Berendt made famous: the Mercer House […]

April 30, 1825

William McIntosh

On this day in 1825, 200 Creek warriors set fire to a plantation house, and shot and stabbed the owner to death. The owner was William McIntosh, a Creek Indian chief killed by his own people. McIntosh was born around 1778 to a white Scotsman and a Creek woman. Though raised among the creeks, he […]

April 28, 1894

Young Harris College

His namesake college in north Georgia is small. Its effect has been anything but. Young Loftin Harris was born in Elbert County around 1812. He became a lawyer, judge, and state representative, but he made his money in the insurance business. Harris joined the Southern Mutual Insurance Company in 1849. Over a 45-year career, he […]

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 […]

March 18, 1766

Stamp Act Repealed

The Stamp Act was supposed to raise money to pay off the country’s enormous debt following eight years of war, but instead it started a revolution. The French and Indian War, fought on the North American frontier, cost Britain a king’s ransom, and Parliament thought the American colonists should help pay for it. The Stamp […]

March 19, 1806

James Jackson

It started as a swindle and ended up as a landmark Supreme Court case. In 1795, Georgia passed the Yazoo Land Act, selling 35 million acres of western land—most of present-day Alabama and Mississippi—to four land companies for $500,000, about 1.5 cents an acre, far below its value. Opponents cried foul: many legislators owned shares […]

March 20, 1907

Ellis Arnall

He’s the only person who ever beat Gene Talmadge. Ellis Arnall was born in Newnan in 1907. He earned a degree in Greek from the University of the South, and a law degree from the University of Georgia. He was a young man on the rise: elected to the state legislature at 25 and attorney […]

March 6, 1857

Dred Scott Decision

Dred Scott v Sanford was one of the most controversial cases in history, with a Georgian sitting on the Supreme Court that decided it. Dred Scott was a Missouri slave who sued for freedom after his master took him to the free territories of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger […]

March 3, 1932

Joseph M. Brown

He was the son of a Georgia governor and served two terms as governor himself. Joseph M. Brown was born in Canton in 1851. His father Joseph E. Brown was Georgia’s controversial governor during the Civil War and one of the most accomplished politicians in Georgia history. “Little Joe Brown,” as his family called him, […]