February in Georgia History

A number of significant historical events have occurred in Georgia during the month of February.


James Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia and subsequently laid out the plans for the city of Savannah, with the permission of Yamacraw chief Tomochichi.


Georgia's inaugural constitution, which created the state's first eight counties, was adopted.
The Battle of Kettle Creek took place.

The state legislature passed the Rescinding Act, which nullified the Yazoo Act (also widely known as the Yazoo land fraud).


Georgia's first recorded camp meeting took place in Hancock County.

The Creek Indians relinquished all their remaining land in Georgia by signing the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs.

Elias Boudinot published the first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper printed at New Echota in Cherokee and English.


Atlanta Gas Light Company was incorporated.

Pianist Sigismond Thalberg, assisted by violinist Henry Vieuxtemps, performed in Atlanta's first notable classical concert at the Athaeneum Theater.

During the Civil War, the ironclad CSS Savannah and the gunboat CSS Chattahoochee were launched.

Andersonville, the infamous Confederate prison, was established in Macon County.

The Georgia General Assembly ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits denying the right to vote because of race or color.

Jefferson Franklin Long became the first black congressman to deliver an address to the U.S. House of Representatives.

French actress Sarah Bernhardt performed in Atlanta for the first time.

The Atlanta Journal made its debut.

The  Southern League, the first professional minor league baseball team in the South, was founded in Atlanta.

The Battle of Atlanta cyclorama, now housed in Grant Park, opened.
Southern college football was born when the University of Georgia played Auburn University in the first game of what is known today as the South's oldest college football rivalry.


Tiger Flowers became the first African American to win the world middleweight boxing championship.
The Atlanta Board of Education prohibited the teaching of evolution in the city's public schools.

The African American folk drama Heaven Bound debuted at the Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

The U.S. Supreme Court found in favor of Angelo Herndon, a member of the Communist Party in Georgia, who had been arrested and imprisoned for insurrection.

Atlanta native J. Richardson Jones premiered a thirty-minute newsreel, Parade of Progress of Colored Atlanta, at the all-black Bailey's Royal Theatre on Auburn Avenue.

A tornado hit the Albany business district, causing $9 million in damages.

Swamp Water, Vereen Bell's acclaimed novel that brought national recognition to the Okefenokee Swamp region, was published.

God Is My Co-Pilot, a film based on the classic wartime memoir by Georgia native and World War II hero Robert Scott, premiered.

Helen Douglas Mankin became the first woman from Georgia elected to the U.S. Congress.


The Georgia Historical Commission was created by the state legislature to promote and increase knowledge and understanding of the history of the state.
The film I'd Climb the Highest Mountain, based on a novel by Georgia native Corra Harris, opened.

Thomas Brewera physician and civil rights activist in Columbus, was assassinated.

Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver formed the Sibley Commission to investigate public opinion on the integration of public schools in the state.

The Milwaukee Braves agreed to move to Atlanta, becoming the Atlanta Braves.

The Georgia General Assembly ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which took effect in 1920 and grants women the right to vote.

Atlanta's oldest hospital, Saint Joseph's, opened its current location in north Atlanta.

MindSpring, an Internet service provider that later merged with EarthLink, was founded in Atlanta.

Georgia resident David Satcher was appointed U.S. surgeon general.

The  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conductor laureate Robert Shaw posthumously won Grammy Awards for best classical album and best choral performance.



February Birthdays

February 9, 1752        George Handley, Georgia governor
February 17, 1755      Catharine Greene, cotton gin benefactor
February 28, 1766      John Clark, Georgia governor
February 24, 1772      William Harris Crawford, politician
February 11, 1794      Malthus Ward, horticulturist
February 13, 1794      John Leadley Dagg, religious figure
February 11, 1798      Joseph Vann, Cherokee leader
February 3, 1811        George Foster Pierce, religious figure
February 12, 1811      James Johnson, Georgia governor
February 11, 1812      Alexander Stephens, Civil War figure
February 23, 1821      Amos T. Akerman, U.S. attorney general
February 14, 1829      Alfred Iverson Jr., Civil War figure
February 6, 1832        John B. Gordon, Civil War figure
February 25, 1833      Clement Evans, Civil War figure
February 3, 1842        Sidney Lanier, poet
February 9, 1843        Berry Benson, Civil War figure
February 9, 1851        Nellie Peters Black, civic leader
February 9, 1868        Lucian Lamar Knight, journalist
February 18, 1868      Ina Dillard Russell, political matriarch
February 19, 1871      Lugenia Burns Hope, civic leader
February 21, 1872      Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, business leader and philanthropist
February 15, 1877      Thornwell Jacobs, educator
February 14, 1881      Viola Ross Napier, politician
February 20, 1888      Ben Epps, aviator
February 24, 1889      Herbert L. Stoddard, ecologist
February 18, 1891      Sherrod “Sherry” Smith, baseball player
February 20, 1893      Susan Myrick, journalist
February 25, 1896      Ida Cox, singer
February 1, 1898        Leila Denmark, physician
February 5, 1898        Ralph McGill, journalist
February 5, 1900        Primus E. King, civil rights activist
[February 1901]          J. Richardson Jones, journalist
February 7, 1905        Wally Butts, football coach
February 24, 1905      William Holmes Borders, civil rights activist
February 24, 1906      Clarence A. Bacote, civil rights activist
February 10, 1907      Grace Towns Hamilton, politician
February 13, 1907      Laura Belle Barnard, religious figure
February 22, 1908      Annie L. McPheeters, librarian
February 9, 1909        Dean Rusk, U.S. secretary of state
February 19, 1917      Carson McCullers, writer
February 2, 1923        James Dickey, writer
February 5, 1928        Sidney J. Marcus, politician
February 27, 1930      Joanne Woodward, actress
February 24, 1932      Zell Miller, Georgia governor
February 5, 1934        Hank Aaron, baseball player
February 7, 1936        John Stone, poet
February 11, 1936      Burt Reynolds, actor
February 16, 1936      Joe Frank Harris, Georgia governor
February 22, 1937      Tommy Aaron, golfer
February 10, 1938      Terry Kay, writer
February 3, 1940        Fran Tarkenton, football player
February 21, 1940      John Lewis, politician
February 28, 1940      Joe South, musician
February 27, 1942      Charlayne Hunter-Gault, journalist
February 9, 1944        Alice Walker, writer
February 21, 1956      Ha Jin, writer
February 2, 1962        Janisse Ray, writer
February 9, 1963        Travis Tritt, musician


Cite This Article
"February in Georgia History." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 27 February 2015. Web. 25 November 2015.
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