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Georgia History Timeline
Important Dates, Events, and Milestones in Georgia
Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in Georgia history.
The history of what is now Georgia was influenced by two great prehistoric events: first, the upheaval that produced the mountains of the north, and second, the overflow of an ancient ocean that covered and flattened much of the rest of the state. Human beings have inhabited Georgia for at least 12,000 years. The first nomadic hunters were replaced by shellfish eaters who lived along the rivers. Farming communities later grew up at these sites, reaching their height in the Master Farmer culture about AD 800. These Native Americans left impressive mounds at Ocmulgee, near Macon, and at Etowah, north of Atlanta.
15th Century Georgia History Timeline
16th Century Georgia History Timeline
16th Century - Creek controlled almost all of Georgia
1526 - September 29 - First colony on mainland America is established by Lucas Vazques de Ayllon, believed location of the settlement to be on Georgia's Sapelo Island
1540 - Spaniard Hernando de Soto explores Georgia
1566 - Forts were built along the Atlantic coast, including the first in Georgia on St. Catherine's Island
17th Century Georgia History Timeline
1629 - Charles I grants a charter to Sir Robert Heath which includes all territory between 31° and 36° N Lat. and extended from sea to sea. This is approximately from Albemarle Sound in North Carolina to Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia. The delivery of this charter is a matter of dispute. There are even claims that this charter was conveyed to Samuel Vassal in 1630.
1650 - Cherokee Nation had successfully migrated southward, occupying more than 40,000 square miles in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
1663 - March 24 - Charles II delivers the 1629 charter to the Earl of Claredon, the Duke of Albemarle, Sir George Carteret and five other favorites.
1665 - July 10 - Second charter extends the bounds of the grant to 36° 30' and 29° N Lat. This is approximately from the northern border of North Carolina (36° 34') and Daytona Beach, Florida.
1673 - The Spanish reoccupy Santa Catalina (St. Catherines Island) and begin constructing a fort.
1681 - February - Spanish abandon St. Catherines Island and move the garrison to Sapelo Island.
18th Century Georgia History Timeline
1719 - The people of South Carolina rebel against the lords proprietors and elect James Moore governor.
1720 - Sir Robert Montgomery publishes A Description of the Golden Island.
1721 - Colonel John Barnwell, of South Carolina, builds Fort King George at the mouth of the Altamaha River. This is the first British settlement in what will be Georgia.
1729 - July, 25 - Seven of the lord proprietors surrender their rights to George II. Lord, John, Carteret later Earl of Granville, retains his one-eight interest in the soil creating a minor legal problem with title to the land. The lord proprietors receive £22,500 for their claims. This includes £17,500 for the claims plus £5,000 for arrears in quitrents. A strip of land in North Carolina, lying between north latitudes 35° 34' and 36° 30', called the Granville district is laid off as Lord Carteret's one-eight share of Carolina.
1755 - January 7 - First Assembly under the British Crown meets at Savannah. First law passed by the Assembly provides for punishment of anyone who questions the decisions of the Assembly.
1756 - January - Four hundred French Arcadians arrive in Georgia. About 6,000 will be sent to Georgia and the Carolinas.
1761 - May 4 - James Wright appointed governor.
1764 - April 5 - Sugar Act passed. First serious dispute between the colonies and Great Britain.
1767 - June 29 - The Townshend Revenue Act passed by Parliament The Act imposes duties on tea, glass, paint, oil, lead and paper imported into the colonies. The estimated revenue is £40,000 per annum.
1769 - September - Jonathan Bryan leads in a vote by citizens of Savannah to boycott British goods.
1790 - December 10 - Columbia and Elbert Counties formed.
1792 - Eli Whitney, 27, invents a gin capable of handling short stapled upland cotton at Mulberry Grove Plantation in Georgia. First improvement to the cotton gin since 300 BC.
1797 - Nineteen pages of Yazoo records discovered in a mortgage book. The pages are torn out and consigned to the flames. The missing pages are replaced by a page pasted in to explain the reason for the missing pages
1799 - February 26 - Governor Jackson announces a competition for a design for a State Seal in the Louisville Gazette.
19th Century Georgia History Timeline
1802 - November 4 - John Milledge, governor.
1803 - May 11 - Baldwin, Wayne and Wilkinson Counties formed.
1806 - September 23 - Jared Irwin, governor.
1807 - December 10 - Jasper, Jones, Laurens, Morgan, Putnam, and Telfair Counties formed.
1810 - March 6 - US Supreme Court rules in Fletcher v. Peck that Fletchers title is valid and Georgia's recision of the 1795 Yazoo Act invalid.
1811 - December 5 - Madison County formed.
1812 - December 10 - Emanual County formed.
1813 - November 5 - Peter Early, governor.
1815 - November 10 - David B. Mitchell, governor.
1816 - William H. Crawford of Georgia states' rightist and last Federalist candidate for president loses to James Monroe 183 electoral votes to 34 electoral votes.
1822 - December 9 - Bibb, Dekalb and Pike Counties formed.
1824 - December 15 - Upson and Ware Counties formed.
1826 - January 24 - Treaty of Washington abrogates Treaty of Indian Springs. The Creeks cede a smaller area and are allowed to remain on their lands until January 1, 1826.
1828 - Gold discovered in Georgia.
1829 - November 4 - George R. Gilmer, governor.
1834 - July 9 - The S.S. John Randolph, the first successful iron steamship, is launched in Savannah.
1842 - Crawford W. Long performs first recorded operation under general anesthesia. Ether parties are a vogue and Long notices the absence of pain in guests that fall down and bruise themselves at an ether party he hosts. He removes a cyst from James Venable's neck while Venable is under the influence of ether.
1844 - Crawford W. Long uses ether in childbirth at Jefferson, Georgia. He administers ether to his wife during the birth of their second child.
1845 - The Methodist Episcopal Church in America splits into northern and southern conferences after Georgia Bishop James O. Andrews resists an order to give up his slaves or resign his Bishopric.
1848 - Dred Scott sues in US Supreme Court for his freedom.
1860 - December 3 - President Buchanan in his message to congress denies the right of secession but asserted that the constitution gave him no right to attempt coercion.
1874 - March 3 - Governor authorized to farm out convicts for not less than one year or more than five years. All convicts available leased out and as leases expired new leases were made.
1876 - Rufus Bullock arrested in New York City and returned to Georgia for trial. He is acquitted.
1879 - Federal Circuit Court finds Tennessee's Jim Crow law unconstitutional.
1882 - November 4 - Alexander H. Stephens governor.
1885 - October 13 - The Georgia Institute of Technology is established by Act of the General Assembly.
1890 - November 8 - William J. Northern, governor.
1893 - Public hangings abolished.
1898 - October 29 - Allen D. Candler, governor.
1899 - The boll weevil crosses the Rio Grande from Mexico.
20th Century Georgia History Timeline
1902 - October 25 - Joseph M. Terrell governor.
1906 - July 31 - Ben Hill County formed.
1908 - Convict lease system abolished. Replaced by the notorious "Chain Gangs."
1909 - June 26 - Joseph M. Brown, governor.
1910 - July 4 - Three blacks killed at Uvalda, Georgia over James Jeffries loss to Jack Johnson in boxing match. Riots in Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, New York and Norfolk.
1913 - June 28 - John M. Slayton, governor
1916 - Boll weevil reaches Atlantic coast.
1922 - September 22 - Rebecca Latimer Felton appointed first female US Senator to fill the vacancy left by her deceased husband pending a special election.
1923 - June 30 - Clifford M. Walker, governor.
1924 - July 18 - Peach County formed.
1925 - February 13 - Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler offers Candler Field to the city of Atlanta for use as an airport for a second time
1931 - June 27 - Richard B. Russell, Jr., governor.
1934 - The Masters golf tournament for professionals begins at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club.
1936 - June 30 - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell published.
1937 - January 12 - Eurith D. Rivers, governor.
1941 - January 14 - Eugene Talmadge, governor.
1942 - January 28 - The Eight Air Force is activated in Savannah.
1945 - April 12 - President Roosevelt dies at Warm Springs, Georgia.
1947 - January 20 - Melvin E. Thompson, lieutenant governor and acting governor.
1948 - November 17 - Herman E. Talmadge, governor.
1955 - January 11 - S. Marvin Griffin, governor.
1956 - April 20 - First Midas Muffler shop opens at Macon, Georgia.
1957 - May 13 - The first commercial jet airliner, a French Caravelle, lands at Atlanta.
1959 - January 13 - S. Ernest Vandiver, Jr. , governor.
1963 - January 15 - Carl E. Sanders, governor.
1966 - January 10 - Black legislators seated for the first time in 58 years.
1967 - January 11 - Lester G. Maddox becomes governor.
1968 - April 4 - Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
1969 - The US declares a Georgia anti pornography law unconstitutional and says, "If the First Amendment means anything it means that a state has no business telling a man, setting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch."
1983 - January 11 - Joe Frank Harris, governor.
1987 - January 24 - approximately 20,000 protesters march through Cummings, Georgia in all White Forsyth County.
1991 - Zell Miller, governor.
1993 - Atlanta is home to the Summer Olympics
21st Century Georgia History Timeline
2003 - Georgia's governor signs legislation to redesign the state flag without the Confederate emblem, which is considered by many to be evocative of Georgia's past history as a slave state.
Sources: Compiled from the Chronology of Georgia by Richard E. Irby, Jr.