Lt. Colonel George Washington fought French and Indian scouts on May 28, 1754, beginning the Seven Years War.
On May 27, 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams to let Adams know of the death of a mutual friend.
On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, requiring all Native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi River.
On May 29, 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota, which required the movement of all Cherokee out of Georgia and led to the “Trail of Tears.”
On May 27, 1863, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal district court judge, issued a decision in Ex parte Merryman, which challenged President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus. Lincoln ignored the ruling.
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill in Paulding County, Georgia, where Sherman’s forces attacked Johnston’s Confederates on May 27, 1864. Among the combatants on the Union side was Ambrose Bierce, who would later write The Crime at Pickett’s Mill. Pickett’s Mill is the site of annual reenactments.
On May 27, 1864, the Federal Army, having been stopped in its advance on Atlanta two days earlier by the Battle of New Hope Church, attempted to outflank the Confederate position. Some 14,000 Federal troops were selected for the task, and General Howard was given command. After a five-hour march, Howard’s force reached the vicinity of Pickett’s Mill and prepared to attack. Waiting were 10,000 Confederate troops under the command of General Cleburne.
The Federal assault began at 5 p.m. and continued into the night. Daybreak found the Confederates still in possession of the field. The Federals had lost 1,600 men compared to the Confederate loss of 500. The Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.
The Battle of Dallas, Georgia began on May 28, 1864. Click here to watch Week 6 of the Georgia Public Broadcasting/Atlanta History Center series on the Civil War in Georgia.
On May 30, 1922, Chief Justice of the United States William H. Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Inside the memorial is a seated statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French carved from 175 tons of Georgia white marble.
French also created the statue of Jame Oglethorpe that stands in Chippewa Square in Savannah and a seated statue of Samuel Spencer considered to be a prototype of the Lincoln carving. Samuel Spencer was the first President of Southern Railway and was originally located at the rail station in downtown Atlanta before moving to the Southern Railway passenger station in Buckhead in the 1970s and is currently at 1200 Peachtree Street in front of Norfolk Southern.
On May 27, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the United States was in an unlimited national emergency and laid out conditions under which Germany’s expansionism would constitute an attack on the United States.
Happy Birthday to Gladys Knight, born in Atlanta on May 28, 1944.
On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, became the first to summit Mount Everest.
On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.
News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.
Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 31, 1971.
On May 27, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter blasted the “Stop Carter” movement in a speech in Cincinnati.
On this day in 1992, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion by Georgia-based The Black Crowes reached number one on the Billboard US Album chart.
On May 27, 1995, actor Christopher Reeves was thrown from his horse in an equestrian competition in Culpepper, Virginia, becoming quadriplegic.