According to tradition, on April 21, 753 B.C., Rome was founded. The one in Italy, not the one in Floyd County.
On April 21, 1732, King George II signed the royal charter creating the colony of Georgia. The King’s signature did not make the charter effective as several additional steps were required.
On April 19, 1775, British troops entered Lexington, Massachusetts, encountering 77 armed Minute Men.
British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.
Two hours later, another confrontation between the British and American patriots took place in Concord, Massachusetts.
On April 21, 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first Vice President of the United States.
On April 19, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the blockade of ports in “Rebellious States.”
Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue can not be effectually executed therein conformably to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States; and
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned and to the protection of the public peace and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings or until the same shall have ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States and of the law of nations in such case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid.
On April 20, 1861, Robert E. Lee resigned his commission as a Colonel in the United States Army.
Union forces skirmished against The Worrill Grays, a Georgia Reserve Militia, at the Battle of Culloden, 30 miles west of Macon on a date generally believed to have been April 19, 1865, though it may have occurred later.
On April 21, 1904, Ty Cobb made his debut in professional baseball for the Augusta (Georgia) Tourists in the South Atlantic League in center field; Cobb hit an inside-the-field home run and a double.
Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron,” was killed in action on April 21, 1918, shot by either an Australian gunner or a Canadian. At the time of his death, Richthofen has shot down 80 aircraft in aerial combat.
On April 20, 1982, the Atlanta Braves set a major league record, winning the first twelve games of the regular season.
Former President Jimmy Carter was appointed Distinguished Professor at Emory University on April 21, 1982. Carter holds an annual Town Hall in which he takes questions from students.
On April 20, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation authorizing a $165 billion dollar bailout for Social Security, saying,
“This bill demonstrates for all time our nation’s ironclad commitment to Social Security. It assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half a century ago. It assures those who are still working that they, too, have a pact with the future. From this day forward, they have one pledge that they will get their fair share of benefits when they retire.”
On April 21, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Israel. From the press statement released that day,
The MOA reiterates for the public record our long-standing relationship of strategic cooperation with Israel. Strategic cooperation can only succeed when there are shared interests, including the commitment to building peace and stability in the region. It reflects the enduring U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. That commitment will never flag. The U.S. commitment to peace will also not flag. The President knows that a strong Israel is necessary if peace is to be possible. He also knows that Israel can never be truly secure without peace.
On April 20, 1992, Governor Zell Miller signed legislation naming Pogo ‘Possum the official state possum of Georgia.
On April 19, 1995, Governor Zell Miller signed legislation declaring the peanut the Official State Crop.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-6) told the AJC her campaign returned a contribution to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
The McBath campaign told us this morning that the contribution was not accepted.
Omar is one of two Muslim lawmakers elected to Congress in 2018. She has recently been criticized by Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who allege she recently spoke too lightly of 9/11 during a speech last month. She has also made remarks interpreted by many as anti-Semitic.
McBath’s rejection of the donation is more important than it may sound. The Sixth District has a significant Jewish population – particularly in Sandy Springs and east Cobb County.
Liberal group Better Georgia is closing down, according to the AJC.
Funded anonymously, but with clear ties to former Gov. Roy Barnes, Better Georgia conducted quick-strike ad campaigns (in 2015, to fend off a “religious liberty” measure) and commissioned polls (to encourage state Sen. Jason Carter to run for governor in 2014).
But Better Georgia has now shuttered its doors. The era of Democratic guerilla warfare is done, replaced by the direct assault of a state party now led by Stacey Abrams and her followers.
Democrat Andrew Yang visited Atlanta for his erstwhile campaign for President, according to the AJC.
Yang has a good chance of appearing onstage in the Democratic primary debates, since he says he has raised money from more than 100,000 individual donors — well past the benchmark to qualify for the debates.
Yang, 44, chose Georgia as one of the 15 states on his “Humanity First Tour,” another symbol of the Democratic energy aimed at Georgia ahead of the 2020 election. Several Democratic hopefuls have visited the state since launching presidential bids this year, including U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
Republican Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) spoke highly of Attorney General Barr’s release of the Mueller report, according to AccessWDUN.
The Gainesville Republican, in a statement released shortly after Barr released the report, praised him for working with the special counsel’s team to make “necessary redactions” to a report he is sharing with Congress in “good faith, not by mandate.”
“I look forward to examining the mountain of facts supporting the principal conclusions the attorney general and deputy attorney general shared last month: no collusion, no obstruction,” Collins, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, added. “I am encouraged by the Democrats and Republicans who have expressed their faith in Special Counsel Mueller’s integrity and ability.”
Republican Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) spoke to students at Brunswick High School, according to The Brunswick News.
Carter spent about an hour Thursday morning meeting with the freshman government classes at Brunswick High, answering their questions and explaining his priorities for the district he represents.
“We’ll see what happens with that [Mueller] report when it comes out in just a few minutes,” Carter said. “The whole world is going to be watching today. This is big. Today’s a big day in Washington, D.C., primarily because of this.”
The students asked Carter what he feels are the most pressing issues on his agenda today, and he said environmental protections and health care improvements are at the top of his list.
“I have been selected and appointed to a committee, a select committee on climate change,” he told the students. “I’m very proud and very happy to be on that committee. We’re dealing with climate change right now.”
Savannah has a $15.8 million dollar budget surplus, according to the Savannah Morning News.
The city ended last year with almost $15.8 million left to spend and is now planning on using those funds to bolster Savannah’s capital improvement program, shore up the reserve fund, and cover a compensation study’s recommended pay adjustments.
The surplus primarily stemmed from expenses coming in about $12.2 million below budgeted amounts after a hiring freeze and other cost-saving measures were implemented, according to a financial report presented to the Savannah City Council during a workshop Thursday.
In addition to investing almost $2.3 million into the city’s reserve fund, the city plans to devote $13.5 million from the surplus for capital expenses. The plan — which goes before the Savannah City Council for consideration Thursday — includes $5.8 million to construct a new base of operations for departments being relocated from the site where the city is building a new arena.
Tybee Island is bracing for Orange Crush, according to the Savannah Morning News.
Last year the city council voted unanimously to implement new traffic control measures that will assist with traffic flow. Those measures were in place March 16 and will be in place Saturday as well as April 27 and July 4. The next two Saturdays are the anticipated dates of the unpermitted annual Orange Crush celebration.
The dates were selected because the traffic flow onto and off the island showed distinctive patterns that correlated with increased demand on city services and increased frequency of drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, said Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen.
“April 20 and 27 present unique challenges because no one obtains a permit,” Gillen said about the unpermitted Orange Crush. “We have communicated in writing with the primary promoters to the effect that they will be held financially accountable for their continued promotions in the absence of any effort to secure a permit.
The traffic protocols are intended to maintain emergency services access to the entire island during times of high vehicular volume, according to officials.
Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar withdrew his application for a license to serve alc0hol, according to the Statesboro Herald.
As previously reported, he and his wife, Adrianne McCollar, plan to operate an event venue there called Peachtree on Main. But at least for now, it will not be licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. After filing the application Feb. 12, Mayor McCollar said in mid-March that they hoped to open the business this week. But the application, like all new alcohol licenses, would have required City Council approval, and it did not appear on the agendas for meetings through March and into April.
“I withdrew it, and the reason I decided to withdraw that is because I didn’t think it was good timing for the city to have to go through this process,” McCollar said last week. “So at this time I just felt it was best to withdraw it and just really focus on the needs of the city.”
“Sometimes life just gets in the way,” said Rep. Rick Williams, a Republican from Milledgeville, who is the sponsor. “And we need people to be able to have a little more time to complete their education.”
The measure gives would-be students a decade to take advantage of the lottery-funded scholarship program. Currently, they have seven years.
And time spent serving in the military would not eat up a person’s eligibility time.
“Whether it’s starting a family or military service or illness or whatever circumstance, this allows them to go back and get a degree, further their education and participate more in the workforce,” Williams said.
The extension would only apply to those who become eligible for HOPE starting this year, meaning the changes would not begin to have an impact until 2027.