December in Georgia History
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A number of important historical events have occurred in Georgia during the month of December.
The Georgia Penitentiary in Milledgeville, one of the first facilities of its kind in the South, was completed.
The renowned architect William Jay arrived in Savannah, where he designed public buildings and private homes.
Elias Boudinot, along with Major Ridge and his son John Ridge, signed the Treaty of New Echota, which ceded all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi River to the United States. That same month construction began on the railroad that would become the Central of Georgia Railway.
The state legislature chartered Wesleyan College in Macon, the first degree-granting women's college in the world, and in 1839 it chartered the Georgia Historical Society, headquartered in Savannah.
The frontier railroad town of Marthasville was incorporated, and in 1847 the town's name was changed to Atlanta.
Enslaved African Americans Ellen and William Craft staged their daring escape from Macon.
During the Civil War, the ironclad CSS Savannah became the last Confederate ship to fight in Georgia waters. Two days later, at the end of his March to the Sea, Union general William T. Sherman offered the city of Savannah to U.S. president Abraham Lincoln as a Christmas gift.
The Georgia General Assembly ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery.
Jefferson Franklin Longbecame the first African American from Georgia elected to the U.S. Congress.
Georgia voters elected to keep Atlanta as the state's capital rather than have it return to Milledgeville, which had been the seat of government prior to the Civil War.
The Georgia Ornithological Society was founded to promote the interest in and appreciation of birds throughout the state.
The premiere of the film Gone With the Wind, based on Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel, was held in Atlanta.
The Bell Bomber plant in Marietta delivered its first two Boeing-designed B-29s.
The death of governor-elect Eugene Talmadge resulted in a political battle known as the "three governors controversy."
Saul Levitt's two-act play The Andersonville Trial, which chronicles the trial of Henry Wirz, the commander of Andersonville Prison during the Civil War, opened on Broadway.
During the Albany Movement, hundreds of protesters, including Martin Luther King Jr., were arrested and jailed in Albany. The next year in Albany a group of four musicians organized the Freedom Singers. The group performed around the country to raise both awareness of civil rights issues and funds for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
The film adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Color Purple was released. A Broadway musical adaptation followed in 2005.
The Atlanta Falcons football team played its last game in Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium before moving to the Georgia Dome.
BellSouth remerged with its former parent company, AT&T.
- December 22, 1696 James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia
- December 15, 1703 Johann Martin Boltzius, religious figure
- December 18, 1707 Charles Wesley, religious figure
- December 16, 1714 George Whitefield, religious figure
- December 2, 1735 Mordecai Sheftall, Revolutionary War veteran
- December 20, 1761 Daniel Stewart, Revolutionary War veteran
- December 16, 1769 Jesse Mercer, religious figure
- December 10, 1786 William Schley, politician
- December 22, 1798 George W. Crawford, politician
- December 7, 1803 Eugenius A. Nisbet, politician
- December 3, 1820 Thomas Addison Richards, artist
- December 12, 1840 Lottie Moon, religious figure
- December 9, 1845 Joel Chandler Harris, writer
- December 30, 1848 Henry Clay White, scientist
- December 28, 1851 Joseph M. Brown, politician
- December 17, 1865 J. J. Brown, politician
- December 25, 1866 John M. Slaton, politician
- December 4, 1867 Charles Herty, scientist
- December 10, 1870 Emma Cheves Wilkins, artist
- December 15, 1870 John Bulow Campbell, business leader
- December 9, 1872 Thomas Hardwick, politician
- December 18, 1886 Ty Cobb, baseball player
- December 26, 1888 Arthur J. Moore, religious figure
- December 6, 1889 Robert W. Woodruff, business leader
- December 26, 1894 Jean Toomer, writer
- December 1, 1895 E. D. Rivers, politician
- December 5, 1897 Nunnally Johnson, writer
- December 12, 1897 Lillian Smith, writer
- December 18, 1897 Fletcher Henderson, musician
- December 22, 1897 Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, sociologist
- December 28, 1902 Christopher Murphy Jr., artist
- December 17, 1903 Erskine Caldwell, writer
- December 26, 1904 Young Stribling, boxer
- December 25, 1910 Bryan "Bitsy" Grant, tennis
- December 18, 1917 Ossie Davis, actor
- December 19, 1917 Donald Hollowell, civil rights leader
- December 12, 1918 Joe Williams, musician
- December 1, 1919 Anne Cox Chambers, business leader
- December 14, 1920 Charley Trippi, football player
- December 23, 1922 Calder Willingham, writer
- December 21, 1923 W. J. Usery Jr., politician
- December 4, 1924 John Portman, architect
- December 4, 1925 Claude Sitton, journalist
- December 15, 1925 Bill Lee, politician
- December 12, 1927 William G. Anderson, civil rights leader
- December 17, 1927 Charles Weltner, politician
- December 23, 1930 Herman J. Russell, business leader
- December 5, 1932 "Little Richard" Penniman, musician
- December 3, 1936 Alfred Uhry, writer
- December 23, 1936 Bobby Ross, football coach
- December 21, 1937 Jane Fonda, actress
- December 23, 1939 Nathalie Dupree, cook
- December 11, 1944 Brenda Lee, musician
- December 20, 1946 Sonny Perdue, politician
- December 7, 1948 Pearl Cleage, writer
- December 30, 1952 Melissa Fay Greene, writer
- December 8, 1953 Kim Basinger, actress
Media Gallery: December in Georgia History