A number of significant historical events have occurred in Georgia during the month of January.
On January 31 British troops captured the city of Augusta.
Georgia became the fourth state to enter the Union when it ratified the new U.S. Constitution on January 2.
The Yazoo Act (which became known as the Yazoo land fraud) was signed into law.
As the Civil War drew to a close, Union general William T. Sherman issued his Special Field Order No. 15, which called for the distribution of abandoned southern lands to formerly enslaved African Americans. The order was later revoked by U.S. president Andrew Johnson.
The Jekyll Island Club, a hunting club for wealthy northern industrialists, opened on Jekyll Island.
A deadly tornado tore through Gainesville, killing more than 100 people.
The Court of Appeals of Georgia held its first open session.
The first public telephone call was made from the Jekyll Island Club.
A group of Atlanta ministers organized the Love, Law, and Liberation (Triple L) Movement to desegregate the city’s buses. That same month the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was officially inaugurated in Atlanta.
A federal district court ruled in favor of the Triple L ministers, ending six decades of segregation on Atlanta’s buses.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday celebrating the legacy of civil rights leader and Atlanta native Martin Luther King Jr., was first observed. Instituted through the efforts of King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, the annual event is held on the third Monday of January.
During the second observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, members of the Ku Klux Klan in Forsyth County attacked a small group celebrating the event. In response, civil rights leader Hosea Williams and others organized a demonstration the following week that attracted some 20,000 people from around the country.
John Berendt’s book chronicling a murder in Savannah, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, was published. Since that time “The Book” has been credited with bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists to Savannah.
January 28, 1671 William Stephens, Georgia colony president
January 14, 1783 Wilson Lumpkin, Georgia governor
January 28, 1791 Mary Telfair, philanthropist
January 17, 1796 William Washington Gordon, business leader
January 1, 1804 James Walker Fannin Jr., military leader
January 6, 1805 Charles Jones Jenkins, Georgia governor
January 20, 1812 Raphael Moses, peach industry pioneer
January 14, 1814 Alfred Austell, business leader
January 8, 1821 James Longstreet, Civil War officer
January 8, 1831 John Stith Pemberton, Coca-Cola inventor
January 3, 1836 Young John Allen, Methodist missionary
January 29, 1845 Charles Crisp, politician
January 21, 1846 Nathaniel E. Harris, Georgia governor
January 31, 1861 Julia Flisch, education advocate
January 4,  Selena Sloan Butler, education advocate
January 15, 1874 William O. Golding, artist
January 29, 1878 Walter F. George, politician
January 13, 1887 Charles Nabell, musician
January 18, 1892 Oliver Hardy, actor
January 26, 1900 Clayton McMichen, musician
January 8, 1904 “Tampa Red” Whittaker, musician
January [4 or 14], 1905 Sterling Holloway, actor
January 8, 1911 Butterfly McQueen, actor
January 29, 1912 Mills B. Lane Jr., business leader
January 7, 1913 Johnny Mize, baseball player
January 13, 1915 Raymond G. Davis, military leader
January 14, 1916 John Oliver Killens, writer
January 31, 1919 Jackie Robinson, baseball player
January 15, 1920 Dot Kirby, golfer
January 1, 1923 W. W. Law, civil rights activist
January 5, 1926 Hosea Williams, civil rights activist
January 23, 1928 World Carpets founder Shaheen Azeez Shaheen
January 12, 1929 Turner Cassity, writer
January 15, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist
January 3, 1935 Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity founder
January 9, 1936 Anne Rivers Siddons, writer
January 20, 1939 Paul Coverdell, politician
January 14, 1940 Julian Bond, civil rights activist
January 4, 1942 Precious Bryant, musician
January 19, 1947 Paula Deen, restaurateur
January 15, 1955 Anthony Grooms, writer
January 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez, golfer
January 4, 1960 Michael Stipe of R.E.M., musician
January 12, 1960 Dominique Wilkins, basketball player
January 28, 1960 Mike Luckovich, cartoonist