Today is Georgia Day, celebrating the founding of the Thirteenth Colony on February 12, 1733.
After years of planning and two months crossing the Atlantic, James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists climbed 40 feet up the bluff from the Savannah River on this day in 1733 and founded the colony of Georgia.
George II granted the Georgia trustees a charter for the colony a year earlier. The trustees’ motto was Non Sibi Sed Allis—not for self but for others. Georgia would be a philanthropic and military enterprise that would provide the “worthy” poor a new start and serve as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the English colonies.
The trustees prohibited slavery and large landholdings….
Congress enacted the first fugitive slave law, on February 12, 1793 requiring states to return runaway slaves to their owners, even if the state in which the slave was captured did not permit slavery.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
On February 12, 1867, the editor of the Milledgeville Federal Union expressed dismay at the rapidity with which Atlanta was growing and basically everything about Atlanta.
“Atlanta is certainly a fast place in every sense of the word, and our friends in Atlanta are a fast people. They live fast and they die fast. They make money fast and they spend it fast. They build houses fast, and they burn them down fast… . They have the largest public buildings, and the most of them, and they pass the most resolutions of any people, ancient or modern. To a stranger the whole city seems to be running on wheels, and all of the inhabitants continually blowing off steam.”
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was performed for the first time on February 12, 1924. The piece was written for solo piano and jazz band.
On February 12, 1999, the United States Senate voted 55-45 against convicting impeached President Bill Clinton on a charge of perjury. Senator Paul Coverdel voted guilty and Senator Max Cleland voted not guilty. On the second charge of obstructing justice, Coverdell and 49 other Republicans voted guilty and Cleland joined 49 other senators in voting not guilty. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict a President, so Clinton was acquitted on both counts.
One year ago, on February 12, 2014, most of Georgia state government was closed by Executive Order because of an ice storm.
On February 10, 2015, on the anniversary of the United States House of Representatives passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation proclaiming February as Black History Month.