May 15, 1791
1791 Pres. George Washington left Savannah to visit Augusta. On this day of his visit to Georgia, he again stopped at Caty Greene’s Mulberry Grove plantation, where he had lunch.
May 15, 1821
1821 Gov. John Clark signed legislation creating Dooly, Houston, Monroe, Fayette, and Henry counties respectively as Georgia’s 48th, 49th, 50th, 51st, and 52nd counties. The five counties were created from land ceded by the Creek Indians in the Treaty of Indian Springs on Jan. 8, 1821.
Dooly County was named for Col. John Dooly, a Georgia patriot in the Revolution who was killed by Tories in 1780.
Houston County was named for Georgia governor John Houston (1784-85).
Monroe County was named for U.S. president James Monroe.
Fayette County was named the Marquis de LaFayette, a hero of the American Revolution.
Henry County was named for American patriot Patrick Henry.
1860 Ellen Louise Axson was born in Rome, Ga. She later married Woodrow Wilson -- who also had Georgia ties -- but died at age 54 on Aug. 6, 1914.
May 15, 1864
1864 After two days of heavy fighting in the Battle of Resaca, a portion of Sherman’s army crossed the Oostanaula River at Lay’s Ferry three miles downstream from the battle. Realizing that by the next day, the Confederates will be trapped by Union forces from front and rear, Johnston orders his troops to abandon Resaca that night. In what will become characteristic of Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign, the outnumbered Confederates retreat to fight another day. Results of the two-day Battle of Resaca were inconclusive -- casualties totaled approximately 2,800 for the Confederates and while Union casualties were 2,750.
May 15, 1879
1879 Atlanta’s first telephone exchange opened in the Kimball House with a total of ten telephones connected to the hotel switchboard.
May 15, 1913
1913 The Atlanta Constitution began a fund-raising drive to bring William J. Burns, America’s most famous and successful detective, into the investigation of Mary Phagan’s death. Burns, who then was in Europe, was rumored to interested in the case.
May 15, 1925
1925 Politician and lawyer Carl Sanders was born in Augusta, Georgia. Sanders attended the University of Georgia on a football scholarship before interrupting his education to enlist in the Air Force during World War II. After the war, he returned to UGA, ultimately earning a law degree in 1947. Sanders’ political career began in 1954 with his election to the Georgia House of Representatives from his native Richmond County. Two years later he was elected to the Georgia Senate, where he advanced quickly, becoming president pro tempore in 1960. When his Senate term ended in 1962 Sanders made the decision to run for governor. His primary opponent was former governor Marvin Griffin, who had crafted Georgia’s "massive resistance" strategy to counter the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decisions. This was a historic election in Georgia, as the U.S. Supreme Court had declared the county-unit system unconstitutional, meaning small, rural counties would no longer dominate statewide election. Sanders was the first Georgia candidate to use television widely in a campaign, appealing to urban voters. He won the election easily, becoming the youngest governor in the nation at the time. During his administration (1963-67), Georgia’s colleges and universities prospered, many government agencies were streamlined to run more effectively, significant improvements took place in prison and mental health systems, congressional districts were reapportioned on the basis of equal population, and a $140 million surplus was left in the state treasury. Sanders was a popular and progressive governor whose leadership helped Georgia avoid the more violent confrontations of the civil rights movement and made notable progress toward modernizing the state. At the time, Georgia’s constitution prohibited a governor from running for a consecutive terms. After his one term as governor, Sanders began a successful law practice in Atlanta that would last over three decades. [Click here for more information.]
May 15, 1995
1995 Dr. Jacquelyn Belcher assumed the presidency of DeKalb College, the third-largest institution in the University System of Georgia.