On April 15, 1741, the Georgia colony was divided into two counties – Savannah County and Frederica County.
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in what is now Albemarle County, Virginia. Jefferson served as Governor of Virginia, United States Secretary of State, delegate to the Second Continental Congress, and Third President of the United States. Jefferson is credited with writing the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
The first American society advocating for abolition of slavery was founded on April 14, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin would later serve as President of the organization.
On April 12, 1861, Confederates in Charleston, SC opened fire on Federal-held Fort Sumter opening the Civil War.
During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincolnissued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”
On April 13, 1861, Union forces surrendered Fort Sumter after 33 hours of bombardment by Confederates.
“The General” Locomotive was hijacked at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw), Georgia on April 12, 1862, leading to “The Great Locomotive Chase.” The locomotive is now housed in the Southern Museum in Kennesaw.
On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln as the President attended a showing of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater, seven blocks from the White House; Lincoln survived nine hours before dying the next day.
RMS Titanic hit an iceberg just before midnight on April 14, 1912. Among those losing their lives was Major Archibald Butt of Augusta, Georgia, who had served as a military aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
“Captain Smith and Major Archibald Butt, military aide to the President of the United States, were among the coolest men on board. A number of steerage passengers were yelling and screaming and fighting to get to the boats. Officers drew guns and told them that if they moved towards the boats they would be shot dead. Major Butt had a gun in his hand and covered the men who tried to get to the boats. The following story of his bravery was told by Mrs. Henry B. Harris, wife of the theatrical manager: ‘The world should rise in praise of Major Butt. That man’s conduct will remain in my memory forever. The American army is honored by him and the way he taught some of the other men how to behave when women and children were suffering that awful mental fear of death. Major Butt was near me and I noticed everything that he did.”
“When the order to man the boats came, the captain whispered something to Major Butt. The two of them had become friends. The major immediately became as one in supreme command. You would have thought he was at a White House reception. A dozen or more women became hysterical all at once, as something connected with a life-boat went wrong. Major Butt stepped over to them and said: ‘Really, you must not act like that; we are all going to see you through this thing.’”
“He helped the sailors rearrange the rope or chain that had gone wrong and lifted some of the women in with a touch of gallantry. Not only was there a complete lack of any fear in his manner, but there was the action of an aristocrat. ‘When the time came he was a man to be feared. In one of the earlier boats fifty women, it seemed, were about to be lowered, when a man, suddenly panic-stricken, ran to the stern of it. Major Butt shot one arm out, caught him by the back of the neck and jerked him backward like a pillow. His head cracked against a rail and he was stunned. ‘Sorry,’ said Major Butt, ‘women will be attended to first or I’ll break every damned bone in your body.’”
“The boats were lowered one by one, and as I stood by, my husband said to me, ‘Thank God, for Archie Butt.’ Perhaps Major Butt heard it, for he turned his face towards us for a second and smiled.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia.
On April 12, 1961, Russian Commienaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to go to outer space and the first to orbit earth.
The triumph of the Soviet space program in putting the first man into space was a great blow to the United States, which had scheduled its first space flight for May 1961. Moreover, Gagarin had orbited Earth, a feat that eluded the U.S. space program until February 1962, when astronaut John Glenn made three orbits in Friendship 7.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama on April 12, 1963; while there he would write his famed, “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
The Braves played their first home game in Atlanta on April 12, 1966.
Kennesaw Junior College became a senior college on April 14, 1976 by vote of the Georgia Board of Regents.
By this time, enrollment had tripled from an initial student count of 1,014 in the fall of 1966 to 3,098 in the fall of 1975. Numerous local leaders were involved in the fight for four-year status, but the two politicians playing the most pivotal roles were state Representatives Joe Mack Wilson and Al Burruss of Marietta. In time the memories of both would be honored by having buildings named for them on the Kennesaw campus.
The Space Shuttle Columbia became the first reusable orbital vehicle when it launched on April 12, 1981.
A U.S. Postage stamp bearing Georgia’s state bird and state flower was issued as part of a series including all 50 states on April 14, 1982, with first day ceremonies held in Washington and each state.
On April 14, 2010, a signature by Button Gwinnett, one of Georgia’s three signers of the Declaration of Independence sold at auction for $722,500 at an auction by Sotheby’s. About 50 examples of his signature are knoawn to exist and six have been auctioned since 1974.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Former Democratic Congressional candidate Steve Foster is back in the pokey, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.
Steve Foster, who was the 2018 Democratic candidate in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, was charged Tuesday by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office with misdemeanor probation violation. He lost to Republican incumbent Tom Graves of Ranger.
Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris sentenced Foster, a Dalton businessman and former physician, to six months to serve in jail and six months on probation for an Aug. 7 conviction for DUI. Foster was released from jail on Nov. 6, Election Day.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wouldn’t say whether his caucus will support Herman Cain for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, according to AccessWDUN.
Governor Brian Kemp joined the state’s Red Carpet Tour in Augusta, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The annual economic development initiative, which revolves around the first and third rounds of the Masters Tournament, is designed to showcase the state’s pro-business climate to prospective business and industry.
Kemp told tour guests his administration and state lawmakers are committed to supporting “good jobs and good companies being in Georgia.”
“We all have a commitment to continue to have a great business environment – the best business environment in the country,” he said during brief remarks before tour guests departed for the course.
The four-day, invitation-only hospitality event is a partnership between the Georgia and Augusta Metro chambers of commerce. Stops on the tour vary by year, but always include two days at the Augusta National Golf Club.
Governor Kemp also weighed in on the Savannah River controversy, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp became the latest to declare his support for efforts to keep the Savannah River at full pool during an event Thursday in Augusta.
Kemp and his family was in town for the Red Carpet Tour economic development event and was warmly greeted by many in the crowd, including local and congressional legislators, Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Georgia Department of Transportation Board Member Don Grantham. Kemp said he had been speaking with Grantham “and a lot of people in the Augusta area for months about this issue.”
Former Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal were honored at the Northeast Georgia History Center’s Taste of History dinner, according to the Gainesville Times.
“They’re inspirations,” said Glen Kyle, the history center’s executive director. “Not just to us grownups, they’re inspirations to the kids, they’re inspirations to each and every student in Hall County and in Georgia because they reflect the absolute best that Northeast Georgia and Hall County has to offer.”
A majority of the proceeds from the event went to support its reading program, which offers one-on-one free tutoring to low-income students in Hall County who need reading assistance.
Nathan Deal said Thursday’s fundraiser was an example of the significant offering the community is willing to make for the good of others.
“I’ve never seen an audience come forward voluntarily with so many willing contributions of significant sums of money to try to help young children with their reading skills,” he said. “That’s why Sandra devoted so much of her efforts as first lady to doing exactly that.”
“Georgia has been blessed to have a pair that understood the power of love, that understood the power of hope, that understood the power of grace,” [Congressman Doug] Collins said. “When that occurs, all of us can walk hand in hand. And, for this country boy, my life is better because of your example.”
Gov. Kemp also addressed federal aid for farmers after Hurricane Michael, according to the Albany Herald.
“Georgia farmers, who suffered generational losses during Hurricane Michael, are on the verge of bankruptcy,” Kemp said. “Yet a handful of vindictive politicians refuse to end the gridlock and provide the resources these hard-working Americans so desperately need.
“This gridlock exposes the rotten core of some in Congress. They would rather crush an entire industry — destroying the livelihood of countless Americans — than do something that the opposition party wants. This dire situation highlights the brokenness in Washington. We have reached a low point as a nation.”
Agriculture is Georgia’s largest — and oldest — industry, employing one in seven Georgians and contributing $74 billion to the state’s economy annually. Hurricane Michael made landfall on Oct. 10 as the third-most intense hurricane in our nation’s history, dealing $2.5 billion in damage to Georgia crops alone. Georgia has received no disaster relief funds appropriated by Congress since the storm’s devastating damage.
Floyd County benefits from tourism, according to the Rome News Tribune.
Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism Director Lisa Smith explained to local community leaders Thursday that tourism is economic development. Speaking to the Rome Rotary Club that numbers produced for the state for 2017 showed approximately $159 million in expenditures tied to tourism in Floyd County. “That’s $435 per day,” Smith said.
Tourism is responsible for more than 1,400 jobs in Floyd County. Tourists generated more than $4 million in state tax revenue and $4.6 million in local taxes.
“As a household, this saves you $311 per year on your property tax,” Smith said.
Bibb County‘s suicide rate is running ahead of last year’s, according to the Macon Telegraph.
Bibb County had 15 suicides in all of 2018 but is already closing in on that number this year.
On Wednesday Bibb had its 12th suicide of the year, according to Coroner Leon Jones. That would be on pace to exceed the 24 suicides the county saw in 2017, which was the most in Jones’ 29 years with the coroner’s office.
Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin said there have been five suicides in Houston this year. Three of those happened recently over just two days. He also said there were 27 suicides in the county last year.
Hall County will begin accepting recycling from Lumpkin County, according to the Gainesville Times.
Starting April 15, Hall County will take in Lumpkin County’s recycling, after commissioners approved an agreement with Lumpkin at their Wednesday meeting.
Lumpkin will bring its recyclables, except glass, to the Hall County Recycling Center on Chestnut Street in Gainesville. Hall will pay Lumpkin half the market rate for its cardboard and will not pay Lumpkin for single-stream recycling, which includes paper, metal and plastics.
Savannah City Council will consider whether to spend $3.5 million on property for a new waste facility, according to the Savannah Morning News.
The most liberal Democrats have an outsized presence on Twitter, according to the New York Times.
The outspoken group of Democratic-leaning voters on social media is outnumbered, roughly 2 to 1, by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online, according to data from the Hidden Tribes Project. This latter group has the numbers to decide the Democratic presidential nomination in favor of a relatively moderate establishment favorite, as it has often done in the past.
In an informal poll of Democrats on one of our Twitter accounts on Monday, about 80 percent said they were liberal, and a similar percentage said they had a college degree. Only 20 percent said political correctness was a problem, and only 2 percent said they were black.
In reality, the Democratic electorate is both ideologically and demographically diverse. Over all, around half of Democratic-leaning voters consider themselves “moderate” or “conservative,” not liberal. Around 40 percent are not white.
In recent decades, most of the candidates who have found their core strength among the party’s ideologically consistent, left-liberal activist base have lost. Gary Hart, Jerry Brown, Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean and Mr. Sanders all fell short against candidates of the party’s establishment, like Walter Mondale, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. The establishment candidates won the nomination by counting on the rest of the party’s voters.
I can’t do justice to the article with a few pull quotes, so I recommend reading it in its entirety.
An opinion piece in the Washington Post paints a similar picture of a Democratic activist class separated ideologically from the mass of voters.
The newspaper headlines and cable TV newscasts went into “scandal!” mode with complaints from women who came forth to point out that former vice president Joe Biden has about as much respect for personal space as a golden retriever puppy. How many columns and soundbites have tried to equate Biden’s touchy-feely habits with sexual harassment and assault? Too many to count.
Do Democratic voters care? There’s scant evidence that Biden has been harmed by complaints timed to coincide with his anticipated announcement. In the latest Hill-HarrisX poll, “Biden enjoyed a strong lead among respondents who identified as Democrats. The former vice president was the top choice of 36 percent of party loyalists compared to [Sen. Bernie] Sanders’s 19 percent. [Sen. Kamala D.] Harris was the third-most popular choice among Democratic voters with 9 percent.” Likewise, in the Morning Consult poll, Biden remains in the low 30s (33 percent), with Sanders back at 25 percent. We should keep in mind that no poll is predictive as to the outcome of the race, but polling does reflect the relative strength of the candidates at this moment.
And then there is the conventional wisdom about how far left the Democrats have swung. Well, Biden is leading, O’Rourke is doggedly center-left, and Buttigieg is earning plaudits for talking about faith and values. Maybe the story of the far left’s ascendancy has been overplayed.
Taking a step back, there are only five candidates (including Biden, who’s not officially in the race) above 5 percent in the RealClearPolitics average, only seven above 2 percent. Candidates keep jumping in, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) the latest, but there are far more candidates who have not registered at all with voters than those who have. The more crowded the field, the harder any one of the lesser-known contenders will find it to break through. A huge field doesn’t mean anyone can win; it means the really heavy guns predominate, those in the lower-middle tier (e.g. Sen. Cory Booker) have trouble getting heard, and the utterly unknowns remain unknown.