On August 20, 1781, General George Washington sent Continental troops from New York toward Yorktown, Virginia to engage British troops under Gen. Cornwallis.
On August 18, 1795, President George Washington signed a treaty with Great Britain called the Jay Treaty, after Supreme Court Justice John Jay who negotiated it. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led opposition to the treaty.
USS Constitution earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” in battle against the British ship Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19, 1812. Launched in 1797, Constitution is today the oldest commissioned vessel in the United States Navy. Live oak from St. Simons Island were cut and milled for timber used in the constructions of Constitution. From a 1977 New York Times article:
The Constitution won her way into Americans’ hearts in 1812, when she defeated the British Guerriere off Nova Scotia in an exchange of broadsides. The spirit of the Constitution crew was noted by the Guerriere’s commander, James Dacres, who boarded the Constitution to present his sword in surrender.
”I will not take your sword, Sir,” the captain of the Constitution, Isaac Hull, replied. ”But I will trouble you for your hat.”
In the battle, a sailor — whether British or American is disputed by historians — is said to have cried out, ”Huzzah, her sides are made of iron!” as he watched an English cannonball bounce off the side of the Constitution. It was the birth of her nickname.
Part of the ship’s secret lay in the wood used in the design by Joshua Humphreys. He picked live oak, from St. Simons Island, Ga. The wood has proved so strong and resistant to rot that the original hull is intact, said Anne Grimes Rand, curator of the Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Mass.
On August 18, 1862, Confederate Major General of Cavalry J.E.B. Stuart was nearly captured, losing his distinctive hat and cloak and written copies of Lee’s orders near Verdiersville, Virginia.
On August 20, 1906, Gov. Joseph Terrell signed legislation to build a statue of Georgia founding father James Oglethorpe in Savannah and a bill to build a statue of former Confederate General and Georgia Governor John B. Gordon at the State Capitol.
The Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution urging the creation of a federal Health Department on August 18, 1908.
The Georgia Department of Insurance was created on August 19, 1912 when Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation regulating companies selling policies in the states.
On August 18, 1916, the Cherokee Rose was designated the official state flower of Georgia by a joint resolution of the State House and Senate.
Governor Nathaniel Harris signed the first state law requiring school attendance for children 8-14 years of age on August 19, 1916; on the same day, Harris also signed legislation authorizing women to practice law in Georgia.
The practice of tipping service employees was outlawed by legislation signed on August 18, 1918.
The Georgia Department of Archives and History was created by legislation signed by Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey on August 20, 1918.
Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey signed legislation regulating the practice of architecture and licensing practitioners on August 18, 1919.
The Georgia Board of Public Welfare was also created on August 18, 1919 when Gov. Dorsey signed legislation establishing that body and a companion bill that created the Community Service Commission.
On August 20, 1920, the American Professional Football Association, which would later be renamed the National Football League, was formed in Akron, Ohio.
“Georgia” was designated the official state song on August 19, 1922 with Gov. Thomas Hardwick’s signature on a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly; in 1979, “Georgia On My Mind,” replaced it.
On August 20, 1923, Georgia Governor Clifford Walker signed legislation requiring state schools teach the United States and Georgia Constitutions and students pass an exam on the documents before being allowed to graduate.
Adolf Hitler became President of Germany on August 19, 1934.
The United States Central Intelligence Agency supported a coup in Iran that restored the Shah of Iran on August 19, 1953.
On August 18, 1924 Gov. Clifford Walker signed legislation that would allow a referendum on a Constitutional Amendment to allow Atlanta, Savannah, or Macon to consolidate their respective municipal governments with their county governments. Macon-Bibb County merged in 2014 after voters passed a referendum in July 2012.
On August 20, 1965, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones was released in the UK.
On August 20, 1974, President Gerald Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President of the United States.
On August 19, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Ford received 1,157 (52.6%) delegates to 1,087 for Ronald Reagan (47.4%). Georgia’s 48 delegates voted for Reagan on the first ballot.
Dr. Betty Siegel became the first female President of a state college or university in Georgia when she was named President of Kennesaw College on August 19, 1981; under her leadership, it became Kennesaw State University in 1996. Siegel served until 2006. Kennesaw State was recently named the 4th best college for food in the nation.
Also on August 19, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
On August 19, 1984, President Ronald Reagan was nominated for reelection by the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.
On August 18, 1991, hardline Commies in the Soviet Union arrested Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev as part of a coup against Gorbachev’s reforms.
On August 18, 2015, Jeb Bush visited The Varsity in Atlanta. Here’s the funniest line from the CBS46 story:
Recently, Bush put a series of “Jeb No Filter” videos on YouTube and some say it’s a way to bring up his popularity.
“We’re going to work hard to earn the support of Georgians in the March 1 primary. It’s the second largest state in the primary, it’s our neighbor to our north, we’re going to be working hard,” Bush said.
While the instinct behind “Jeb No Filter” may have been good, it would take Donald Trump to show what No Filter really means.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
The Georgia House Rural Development Council met in Dalton on Wednesday to hear from local leaders.
Brian Cooksey, director of operations training and development at Shaw Industries, briefed council members on how in Whitfield County representatives of industry, the local school systems, Dalton State College and Georgia Northwestern Technical College are working together to provide students with the skills that industry needs.
He said that up until a few years ago, Dalton State College was serving as both a technical college and a university.
“They did a really good job. But that’s a tough situation,” he said.
Cooksey said leaders at Dalton State, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and local leaders worked together to allow the college to focus on its core strength as a university and to create programs in areas of demand by the floorcovering industry, such as bachelor of applied science in chemistry.
The next step, Cooksey said, was getting a campus of Georgia Northwestern in Whitfield County. Whitfield County Schools offered space inside the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy and local industry provided equipment.
State Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, who sat in on some of the proceedings, said he was happy to hear how much cooperation is going on.
“We are working together here, and I hope that what we are doing can be expanded on in other places,” he said.
Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, a member of the council, said the presentations they heard in Dalton and in other cities where the council has met should result in new legislation next year.
“We want to see what we can do to make it easier for our citizens to get the education and the skills they need to succeed,” he said. “Education is the key to a better life and the key to a higher income. We want all of Georgia to succeed, not just metro Atlanta.”
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson responded to requests to remove memorials in the city.
[T]he mayor said the city wouldn’t remove the memorial to the Civil War dead on Broadway.
“I investigated it and its history some time ago, before the horrific events in Charlottesville,” she wrote. “I do not advocate its removal for these reasons: It was erected in 1879, not during the pushback from the civil rights movement or in conjunction with Jim Crow. It was erected 14 years after the cessation of war and after Confederate soldiers (other than Jefferson Davis, Robert Lee and the Confederate Secretary of War) had been pardoned by two presidents in an effort of national reunification — to not forget, but to move forward as one nation.”
Tomlinson said the memorial was not erected by the city, county or state, but by family and friends of the dead.
“I am distinguishing between the memorial for the dead and these memorials that glorify and encourage the themes of the war and continue its upraising as a celebration,” she said in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer.
Later in a news conference, she said state statute prohibits the removal of public monuments, which might apply to the one on Broadway.
Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach wants the state to change the name of the Talmadge bridge.
The city is now planning to host a forum to discuss the Confederate monument in Forsyth Park and the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge in the wake of the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend when white supremacists marched to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Staff was directed on Thursday by the Savannah City Council to schedule the forum after Mayor Eddie DeLoach spoke about the “acts of violence committed in the name of hate and racism” during the weekend’s tragic events, which included injuries and the death of a 32-year-old woman when a speeding car rammed into anti-racist protesters. Two law enforcement officers died when the helicopter they were using to monitor the event crashed.
“We all must denounce these forms of domestic terrorism and rally around each other in the name of peace and unity,” DeLoach said. “We must not just be on the right side of history, but we must write the right version of history.”
DeLoach went on to propose that the council send a resolution calling for the state legislature to rename the Talmadge Bridge to be a more inclusive name that represents the entire community. Georgia law requires the state must give approval to rename the bridge.
In addition, DeLoach called on city staff to find a way to “expand the story” of the Confederate monument to be inclusive of all Savannahians, regardless of race, creed or color, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Civil War.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced he will work with the National Association of Attorneys General on strengthening laws against elder abuse.
“The abuse, neglect, and exploitation of at-risk and older citizens is a tragic and evolving issue that is plaguing not only Georgia, but our entire country,” Carr said. “When I learned of NAAG President and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s intentions for the working group, I was eager to get our office involved.
“This type of collaborative effort is exactly what we need to create real results, and we look forward to working with our national partners to crack down on this malicious behavior in all its forms.”
Glynn County Commissioners heard from residents on a proposed property tax millage rate increase.
The commission approved a budget in June that relies on the millage increase.
Resident Chuck Cook said the public should more- critically weigh the benefits of the millage rate increase, as the county provides a lot of services that many see as necessary, such as 24-hour public safety services.
Another resident said that she liked living in the Golden Isles when she moved here because she was able to find a job and live comfortably. Now, however, times are tougher and she isn’t sure she’ll be able to swallow the cost of a property tax increase.
This hearing on the millage was the first of three. Another will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 22 in the St. Simons Island Casino and the third will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 in the Old Glynn County Courthouse, 701 G St. in Brunswick.
Flowery Branch will hold weekly events to promote voter registration.
Don McKee writes in the MDJ about another voter registration effort.
While the new SEC Primary gained a lot of attention and confirmed Kemp’s creativity, the secretary of state also started up a smaller program relating to voting within Georgia in 2016. It’s the Student Ambassador Program for “encouraging civic engagement and voter registration among young adults.” The pilot program began in January 2016 with just 14 Georgia high schools and 160 students participating.
After the program was started, electronic voter registration among 18-year-olds more than doubled using the state’s online platform and a free “GA SOS” mobile app. “Prior to the program’s pilot year in 2016, only 8,132 young adults registered to vote using the state’s electronic platforms,” Kemp announced this week. “Now, 16,737 young adults — and counting — have electronically registered to vote in Georgia.”
This year, 175 high schools and organizations in 94 Georgia counties will take part in the program, and beginning in September, more than 1,500 sophomores, juniors and seniors will receive training in how to register other young people and “engage with their local officials” — which no doubt will be respectful, aimed at gaining information, in contrast to the anger and yelling of insults at the town hall meeting held by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-GA, and other members of Congress. On that point, civility should be a part of civics lessons — maybe including a crash course for people attending town halls before the meetings start.
Competition is a tried and true key to the Student Ambassador Program. Teams of students compete against those from other schools in statewide and regional events to win points by “hosting voter registration drives and volunteering within their communities.” Last year’s statewide winner was Newnan High School. Surely, one of our outstanding Cobb County schools has what it takes to be a winner.
Campaigns & Elections
Jessica Tarlov and Evan Roth Smith write for Fox about how Democrats could start winning elections again.
The problem is simple, but deeply entrenched: the Democratic Party is overcentralized, run from Washington and other power centers where established party elites and career operatives dispense favors, funds, and a party line that fails to reflect the needs, wishes, and priorities of actual Democratic voters.
Democratic elites and big-money donors continue to back bad candidates in winnable races, instead of letting local Democratic leaders build the party from the ground up.
Put another way, Democratic elites support well-connected carpetbaggers like Jon Ossoff, or comically underqualified political novices like Rob Quist, over actual local Democratic elected officials, activists, organizers, business owners, or community leaders.
In June’s special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district, Democrats spent a staggering, record-setting $23 million on Jon Ossoff’s losing campaign. Ossoff, who had never run for as much as school board, was a former D.C. congressional staffer who hadn’t lived in the district for over a decade and couldn’t even cast a ballot for himself.
Nonetheless, party elites anointed Ossoff over a slew of truly local candidates, including a former Georgia state senator, a black businesswoman running as a government reformer, an accomplished doctor running on her genuine health care expertise, and a college professor who served in the first Gulf War.
Ossoff lost to an experienced campaigner with a clear local constituency, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.
Now it’s time for another warning that Democrats should heed: run your local talent.
Doraville City Council Member Robert Patrick will seek reelection in District 1.
This year in Doraville, three seats, occupied by Patrick (District 1), Dawn O’Connor (District 2) and Sharon Spangler (District 3) are up for election. The qualifying fee is $252. The election will be held Nov. 7.
Jill Fisher will run for Rome Board of Education.
Jill Fisher, a mother of three Rome city school students who is active in the community while acting as bookkeeper in her husband’s dental practice, announced her intention to run for Rome City Board of Education Thursday.
“I am excited to enter the race to become a Rome City School board member. My husband, Mark, and I have three kids: one at Rome High, one at Rome Middle, and one at East Central Elementary. For the last ten years, I have served RCS in many ways, including two terms as PTO President. I have also served on several advisory committees designed to bridge the school system and parents.