March 8, 1862 saw the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, VA, take ninety-eight hits from Union warships without sinking. Virginia sank USS Cumberland after ramming it, blew up USS Congress, and ran USS Minnesota aground. It was the worst day in US Naval history at that time. On the next day, March 9, 1862, Virginia and USS Monitor, a Union ironclad, fought to a draw in the Chesapeake Bay.
On March 9, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed two pieces of legislation dealing with African-Americans, one recognized their marriages, the other legitimized children born to African-American couples prior to the act and required parents to maintain their children in the same way white were required.
Bobby Fischer, the Eleventh World Champion of Chess, was born on March 9, 1943 and is considered by many the greatest player of all time.
Governor Ellis Arnall signed two important pieces of legislation on March 9, 1945. The first created the Georgia Ports Authority, with its first project being the expansion of the Port of Savannah. The second authorized the placement of a referendum to adopt a new state Constitution (in the form of a single Amendment to the Constitution of 1877) on the ballot in a Special Election to be held August 7, 1945.
On March 8, 1946, a conference convened on Wilmington Island, near Savannah, that would lead to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commonly called the World Bank.
On March 8, 1946, a special train arrived at Savannah’s Union Station from Washington, holding nearly 300 delegates, government officials, technical experts and reporters from 35 nations. Thousands of Savannahians watched as a 100-car motorcade rolled along flag-bedecked streets to the General Oglethorpe Hotel on Wilmington Island.
Treasury Secretary Fred M. Vinson headed the American delegation; the British were led by John Maynard Keynes, “the father of modern macroeconomics.”
The stakes were enormous.
Two years earlier, as World War II neared its murderous end, the winning Allies pondered the nature of the postwar global economy. The United States was emerging as the leader of the free world, largely supplanting the British Empire, gravely weakened by the war.
The IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (better known as the World Bank) were born at a July 1944 conference in Bretton Woods, N.H., where 44 countries established rules for the global monetary system.
The IMF was intended to promote international economic cooperation and secure global financial stability, providing countries with short-term loans. The World Bank would offer long-term loans to assist developing countries in building dams, roads and other physical capital.
The Bretton Woods agreements were ratified internationally by December 1945. Vinson, seeking a site for the new organizations’ inaugural meetings, sent Treasury agents around the country. “They made some fine reports on Savannah,” he later told the Morning News. He had never visited the city.
On March 9, 1970, Governor Lester Maddox signed legislation setting the Georgia minimum wage at $1.25 per hour.
On March 8, 1982, President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” for the second time, in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals.
On Friday, March 6, 2015, former Fulton County Commissioner Tom Lowe died, having served more than 40 years in office from his election in 1974 as the first Republican member of the Commission until this past December.
Famously cantankerous, Lowe carried a pistol to meetings in the mid-1980s after he learned a fellow commissioner was also packing heat. He said at the time he would “be damned if I’m going to be overgunned.”
After earning a civil engineering degree at Auburn University, Lowe worked in heavy construction, building highways, railroads and dams. In 1957, he founded Lowe Engineers Inc., a civil engineering firm. He later developed commercial and industrial properties in metro Atlanta.
The Tom and Bettye Lowe Lobby and Grand Foyer at Auburn University’s Shelby Center for Engineering Technology was named in recognition of the Lowes’ support of the Samuel Ginn School of Engineering.
Would anyone care to join me at the Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds for a memorial round of skeet or trap in his honor?
Under the Gold Dome Today
Today is the 28th Legislative Day of the 2015 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. Day 30, called Crossover Day, will be Friday.
To maintain a chance of becoming law, bills must be approved by the chamber they originated in by midnight Friday. Yes, that’s Friday, March 13. No, legislative leaders say, that’s not symbolic.
Alan Riquelmy of the Rome News-Tribune writes of the pace as we hurtle toward Crossover Day.
Crossover Day is the 30th day of the legislative session. This year it falls on Friday. Lawmakers from across the state will push, pray and plead to get their bills to a vote by this day. Otherwise their legislation must wait until next year’s session.
“We’ll be hearing these bills all day long,” said state Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee. “It will be very intense.”
It’s the same on the other side of the Gold Dome.
“Crossover Day is always a busy time,” said state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome. “I think we’ll be there late on Friday, as everyone tries to get their bills through.”