politics

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 25, 1913

Walt Kelly

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The cartoonist who gave us that famous quote was born on this day in 1913, in Philadelphia. Walt Kelly worked as a Disney animator before launching Pogo in 1948. The comic strip was set in Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. It ran nationally for 25 years and was […]

August 30, 1979

Jimmy Carter Rabbit Episode

On August 30, 1979, some bad news broke for President Jimmy Carter. It involved Carter’s fending off a rabbit on a fishing trip in southwest Georgia back in April. What appeared to be an amusing story in an outdoorsman’s life came to symbolize a perception by some of an ineffective Carter presidency. Carter was alone […]

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 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 […]

August 10, 1774

Sons of Liberty Meet in Savannah

On this day in 1774, revolutionaries were plotting at Tondee’s Tavern in Savannah. Thirty men, calling themselves the “Sons of Liberty,” gathered to plan Georgia’s opposition to British colonial policy. This was Georgia’s first participation in what would become the American Revolution. Nine months earlier a group in Boston protested British policies by throwing 342 […]

August 11, 1938

FDR’s Controversial Speech in Barnesville

Sometimes even the best politicians can make big mistakes. President Franklin Roosevelt took a risk on this day in 1938 in Barnesville, Georgia. Giving a speech, he openly campaigned against Georgia Senator Walter George, who was sitting directly behind him. Running for re–election, George had become an outspoken opponent of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. The […]

August 12, 1909

Boll Weevil in Georgia

How much would you pay to kill a pest? On this day in 1909, the Georgia General Assembly formally asked the U.S. Congress for a $5 million prize to the first person to eliminate the boll weevil. This was six years before the cotton–consuming pest even appeared in Georgia. Cotton had been Georgia’s premier staple […]

August 1, 1866

John Ross

He was known as the Cherokee Moses, the man who fought against the removal of Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Though Chief John Ross was only one-eighth Cherokee, he grew up steeped in Cherokee culture. He was born in 1790 at Turkey Town, on the Coosa River, near present–day Center, Alabama. As a young man, […]

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 […]