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

1700-1749

1733

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.


1750-1799

1777

Georgia’s inaugural constitution, which created the state’s first eight counties, was adopted.

Battle of Kettle Creek
Battle of Kettle Creek

Courtesy of Kettle Creek Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

1779

The Battle of Kettle Creek took place. 


1796

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


1800-1849

1803

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

Camp Meeting
Camp Meeting

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division


1825

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


1828

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


1850-1899

1856

Atlanta Gas Light Company was incorporated.


1858

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


1863

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


1864

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


1870

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.


1871

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

Jefferson Franklin Long
Jefferson Franklin Long

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division


1881

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


1883

The Atlanta Journal made its debut.


1885

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


1892

The Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama, now housed at the Atlanta History Center, 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.


1900-1949

1926

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.


1930

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


1937

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.


1939

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.


1940

The  film Gone With the Wind won eight Academy Awards.

Gone With the Wind Commemorative Stamp
Gone With the Wind Commemorative Stamp

Smithsonian National Postal Museum 

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


1941

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


1945

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


1946

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


1950-1999

1951

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.


1956

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

Thomas Brewer
Thomas Brewer

Courtesy of Columbus State University Archives


1960

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


1964

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


1970

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.


1978

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

Surgery at Saint Joseph’s
Surgery at Saint Joseph’s

Courtesy of Saint Joseph's Hospital


1994

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


1998

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

Georgian Julian Bond was selected as chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.


1999

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

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Courtesy of J.D. Scott


2000-Present

2002

The Home Depot cofounder, Arthur Blank, bought the Atlanta Falcons.


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

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Savannah City Plan, 1734

Savannah City Plan, 1734

The original caption of this print by Paul Fourdrinier reads: "A View of Savannah as it stood on the 29th of March 1734. To the Hon[orable] Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America. This View of the Town of Savannah is humbly dedicated by their Honours Obliged and most Obedient Servant, Peter Gordon."