The Battle of Bloody Marsh was fought between Spanish forces and colonists under James Oglethorpe on St Simons Island, Georgia in 1742 on a date that is variously cited as June 9 or June 7, 1742. Thus began the rivalry between Georgia and Florida.
According to “This Day in Georgia History,” on June 5, 1775, the first Liberty Pole in Georgia was raised in Augusta, Georgia. Another account holds that the first Liberty Pole in Georgia was raised June 4, 1775 at Tondee’s Tavern in Savannah. Those who fly the “Appeal to Heaven” flag should know that it has some common history with Liberty Poles.
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution before the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia calling for American independence from Great Britain.
Lee’s resolution declared: “That these United Colonies are, and of right out to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; that measures should be immediately taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers, and a Confederation be formed to bind the colonies more closely together.”
“Light Horse Harry” Lee, (aka Henry Lee, III), later the father of Robert E. Lee, led a group of Continental soldiers, South Carolina and Georgia militia as the British surrendered Augusta on June 5, 1781. The capture of Augusta led to Georgia’s inclusion in the United States, though it had previously been so divided between Patriots and Loyalists that Georgia was the only American colony to not participate in the First Continental Congress. Henry Lee, III was a nephew of Richard Henry Lee and served as Governor of Virginia and represented the Commonwealth in Congress.
The expulsion of the Cherokee from Georgia began on June 6, 1838 as 800 members left by riverboat.
The Republican National Convention met in Philadelphia on June 5, 1872, nominating Ulysses S. Grant for President the next day. Twelve years later, on June 5, 1884, William T. Sherman refused the Republican nomination for President, saying, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
The first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley, also called Denali, in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America, was completed on June 7, 1913.
On June 7, 1942, Japanese troops occupied American territory in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska.
On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.
By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.
On June 6, 1949, George Orwell published 1984.
Republican candidate for Governor A. Ed Smith died in a car accident on June 5, 1962.
Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot after winning the California Primary on June 5, 1968 and died the next day.
President Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004.
Columbus will celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday at the National Infantry Museum, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
June 7, 2016 was declared “Prince Day” in Minnesota under a proclamation issued by Governor Mark Dayton. Prince was born on this day in 1958. Governor Dayton missed his chance to begin a proclamation with “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together today….” The next year, Dayton proclaimed Prince Day on April 21, 2017.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Three protesters are jailed and charged with using Molotov cocktails to try to set fire to police cars in Gwinnett County, according to WSB-TV.
Three protesters are in jail Thursday after being arrested for trying to set police cars on fire with Molotov cocktails.
Police say the vandals tracked those officers down at their homes and tried to torch their cars. Both fires were put out quickly, leaving minor damage to the vehicles.
More than one million ballots have been cast ahead of Tuesday’s Primary elections, according to the Athens Banner Herald.
The overwhelming majority of votes cast so far have come via absentee ballots amid a surge in mail-in voting spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Of the more than 1 million votes cast as of Thursday, roughly 80% were absentee ballots sent in the mail or placed in temporary drop-off boxes that county elections officials have installed in recent weeks, [the Secretary of State's] office said.
That amounts to 810,000 absentee ballots cast so far, already dwarfing the roughly 223,000 mail-in votes collected in the high-turnout 2018 gubernatorial election.
Meanwhile, many voters in the state are still waiting to receive absentee ballots after requesting them weeks ago. Elections officials acknowledged Tuesday thousands of voters were still awaiting absentee ballots, particularly in Fulton County.
For instance, Kaleb McMichen, the press secretary for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, said Thursday on Twitter he had not yet received his absentee ballot after requesting one on April 8.
On Thursday, Rep. David Dreyer, D-Atlanta, urged voters who have not yet mailed in their absentee ballots to put them in a drop-off box that counties have set up to collect those ballots.
Some Georgia faith leaders are advocating for passage of hate crimes legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes, according to Fox5Atlanta.
Georgia’s House of Representatives passed House Bill 426 in March 2019, but the legislation stalled in the Senate. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula, would increase penalties for those convicted of crimes where the court “determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected any victim or group of victims or any property as the object of the offense because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability of such victim or group of victims.”
Under the legislation, those found guilty of a misdemeanor would be subject to an additional 3 to 12 months of jail time and a $5,000 fine. Those convicted on a felony charge would receive an extra two years on their sentence.
“The House passed Chairman Efstration’s hate crimes bill last year and it awaits a vote in the Senate,” said Spokesman Kaleb McMichen. “Speaker Ralston supports that legislation, and he has challenged the Senate to pass it with no delay and no amendments when session resumes.”
Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan presides over the state Senate and in a statement to FOX 5, said lawmakers can do more:
“We can’t keep dancing around this important issue with overtones of partisan politics and expect the situation to improve. Now is the time for the Senate to step up and deliver a meaningful piece of legislation that makes it crystal clear that Georgia will be the worst place to commit a crime of hate against anyone. I’m looking forward to leading this aggressive charge in the remaining 11 days of the session.”
“HB 426 is a solid starting point, but it’s only a one-dimensional approach to a complex issue. I believe the Senate is well-positioned to craft a hate crimes bill that affords victims more protections. Meaningful hate crimes legislation must address important things like law enforcement reporting, ensure due process, close potential loopholes, and empower victims to the maximum extent. I’m looking forward to continuing a dialogue with key stakeholders from around the state. I expect the Senate to take action.”
The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police adopted a resolution late last month in support of legislation that “enhances and mandates the criminal sentence” in cases involving hate crimes.“The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police support the creation of a civil process for victims to seek redress for any injury or damage to his or her property as a result of crimes of this nature,” according to the resolution.
The bill would increase punishments when it is proven in court “beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected any victim or group of victims or any property as the object of the offense because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability of such victim or group of victims.”
If it’s a misdemeanor, it’s a minimum of three months imprisonment and a maximum $5,000 fine. A felony would require at least two years imprisonment.
Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, said he feels such a bill will require a great deal of patience and cooperation to create legislation that is both passable and enforceable.
“The hate crimes bill will be a delicate process, and it’s not as simple as either side would have you believe. There is no place for racism or injustice in our society or in our government,” he said.
Miller said there are potentially other substitute bills that have been drafted.
“There are many legislators on both sides of the aisle that are very passionate about the issue, and rightfully so. The scenes that we have witnessed in the last few weeks are troubling to say the least,” Miller said.
The defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case will face murder charges in Superior Court, according to The Brunswick Times.
In opening statements of the probable cause hearing at the Glynn County Courthouse today for the three men charged in Arbery’s killing, Cobb County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans said the 25-year-old “was chased, hunted down and executed.”
After six hours of testimony, Glynn County Magistrate Judge Wallace Harrell bound all three defendants over to Superior Court for trial. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, are charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, is charged with felony murder and criminal intent to commit false imprisonment.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the three men appeared via video from the Glynn County Detention Center. The McMichaels were visible on computer screens inside the courtroom; Bryan’s attorney opted to keep him offscreen.
GBI special agent Richard Dial, the lead investigator in the Arbery case, described a scene in which Arbery was pursued relentlessly, cut off from escape and ultimately shot dead by Travis McMichael. It started after Arbery entered a house under construction on Satilla Drive around 1 p.m.
A federal civil rights probe into Mr. Floyd’s death was announced last Friday by Attorney General William P. Barr. Lawyers for Mr. Arbery’s family have said that a federal civil rights probe into the Arbery case is also underway.
In an interview on Thursday, L. Chris Stewart, the lawyer for Mr. Arbery’s mother, said the revelation of the racist language should be enough to trigger indictments under the federal hate crimes statute.
“This is the proof they need to actually bring charges,” he said.
Franklin Hogue, a lawyer for Gregory McMichael, said that while “we might agree” that his client leaving the house with a firearm “may not have been a very good idea,” he had a legitimate reason to want to “intercept” someone he thought may have committed a crime.
Protesters might want to get tested for COVID-19, according to the AJC.
“Those individuals that have partaken in these peaceful protests or have been out protesting, and particularly if they’re in metropolitan areas that really haven’t controlled the outbreak…we really want those individuals to highly consider being evaluated and get tested,” Robert Redfield, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a U.S. House of Representatives committee, Reuters reported.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation found three individuals arrested in recent days have criminal records involving previous protests, according to WSB-TV.
• A 34-year-old man arrested in Atlanta who they believe had participated in riots in Minneapolis before coming to Atlanta.
• A Florida resident who had multiple obstruction and assault charges related to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. The convicted felon live streamed his post-arrest detainment on social media while handcuffed.
• At least ten individuals were bonded out by one individual who is out-of-state. The GBI says that suggests a coordinated effort.
“At first glance, that would dictate to law enforcement, or indicate to law enforcement that there’s probably some connection there,” GBI Director Vic Reynolds told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot.
Reynolds says its too early to name which groups they believe sparked the violence and if they are left-wing or right-wing groups, or both. Reynolds says more analysis will take place at the federal level.
To be fair, I think something similar could have been said about Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta) during his days on the frontlines of the civil rights movement. Rep. Lewis
Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly will push for repeal of the state’s laws on citizen’s arrests and stand your ground, according to the AJC.
House Democratic Leader Bob Trammell of Luthersville said the measures will be part of a package of bills they will pursue when lawmakers return to the Capitol on June 15 to complete the legislative session.
Trammell cited the February shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was in a Brunswick-area neighborhood when three white men followed, shot and killed him.
“The citizen’s arrest law is a law that was used by a district attorney in Brunswick to justify the non-arrest of the killers of Ahmaud Arbery,” Trammell said. “More distressingly, existence of the citizen’s arrest law confers with some people in our state the notion that they can take the law into their own hands and with, sadly, deadly and tragic consequences.”
Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher has made her first endorsements, and chose one Democrat and one Republican, according to the Albany Herald.
In her more than a decade of political activity, Ward III Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher has made a point of not endorsing political candidates on any level.
So Fletcher’s announcement that she is supporting District 2 U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop’s re-election campaign and the campaign of current U.S. Senate appointee Kelly Loeffler carries more than a bit of significance.
“As we get ready for this very important election, one of the things that has impressed me about Sanford Bishop is his willingness to cast votes that matter to his constituents, even if it goes against his (Democratic) party,” Fletcher said. “In this day of partisan politics, that’s rare. And Kelly Loeffler, who lives and does business in the heart of Atlanta and is on the board of a hospital there, reached out to our little hospital in southwest Georgia (Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital) and gave $1 million. That shows that she is concerned about the people all over the state, not just metro Atlanta.
“And Kelly is giving her Senate salary to nonprofits in the state, including several in southwest Georgia.”
Chatham County courthouses will be deep-cleaned this weekend, according to the Savannah Morning News.
AccessWDUN profiles the six Republican candidates to replace State Rep. John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa) in Senate District 50.
The Rome Downtown Development Authority favors passage of an ordinance to allow a temporary outdoor drinking area, according to the Rome News Tribune.
Seventy active Bald Eagle nests have been identified in Coastal Georgia, according to the Savannah Morning News.
About a third of those nests – 23 of them – were located in Chatham County, where the islands and hammocks, tall trees and waterways provide exactly the conditions eagle parents desire.
That’s more than in any other county, though Decatur, which sometimes rivals Chatham, was not included in the survey this year.
Checking by helicopter in January, March and early April, the Department of Natural Resources’ survey leader Bob Sargent counted 117 eagle nest territories in three regions of the state: the six coastal counties; a section of east Georgia bounded roughly by Interstates 16 and 85 and the South Carolina line; and the counties north of Atlanta. This year’s survey results also included seven nests monitored in other areas by volunteers or DNR staff.
Considering that the rest of south Georgia, surveyed in alternate years, usually has about 85 occupied nest territories – or active nests – Sargent said the state likely had 200 or more eagle nests for the sixth straight year.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is asking people who spot Bald Eagle nests to report them, according to the Gainesville Times.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is encouraging the public to report bald eagle nests to help monitor the species’ population in the state.
On Wednesday, June 3, the agency reported that Georgia’s bald eagle nesting numbers remained strong. However, the successful nest rate dropped 30% lower than average in counties north of Atlanta, including Hall, Rabun, Dade, Bartow, Floyd and others.
Bob Sargent, leader of the 2020 survey, said substantial rainfall from January through March likely contributed to the lower nest productivity in North Georgia.
Peter Gordon, director of education at Elachee Nature Science Center and longtime birder, said if people are looking for eagle nests around Hall, he would recommend traveling north of Don Carter State Park.
Jim Ozier, wildlife biologist with Georgia Power, said large bodies of water like Lake Lanier are prime areas for eagle spotting.
He has a couple of tips, so people don’t confuse eagle nests with osprey nests. While osprey like to raise their young out in the open on dead trees or atop utility poles, he said eagles prefer a more sheltered home like evergreen trees. In North Georgia, he said they typically settle on pine trees.
“I’ve never seen one in an exposed structure,” Ozier said. “They’re usually near a significant amount of water, reservoir or major river. There’s a balance of being next to the water and high up.”