March 3, 1801
1801 David Emanuel, president of the Georgia Senate, assumed the office of governor following the resignation of James Jackson, who had been elected to the U.S. Senate. Emanuel, generally believed to be the first Jewish governor of any state in the U.S., served just over eight months before retiring from politics. He was born in Pennsylvania around 1743, but little is known about his early life. Around 1756, his family moved to Georgia. By 1770, Emanuel was living in Burke County. During the American Revolution, he served both as a soldier and a member of the Whig’s executive council. After the war, Emanuel represented Burke County in the legislature for many years, also serving in the constitutional conventions of 1789 and 1795. In 1796 was appointed to the commission to investigate the infamous Yazoo Act. He died at his home in Burke County on Feb. 19, 1808. Four years later the Georgia legislature named a new county in his honor.
March 3, 1817
1817 Georgia’s western territory -- ceded to the U.S. in 1802 -- was divided into the Alabama Territory and the new state of Mississippi.
March 3, 1832
1832 In the case of Worcester vs. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Government had exclusive rights over the Cherokees located in Georgia.
March 3, 1874
1874 Gov. James Smith signed legislation authorizing a convict lease system in which state prison inmates could be leased out to persons or companies for periods of one to five years for such fee as agreed to by the governor. The act required the humane treatment of convicts and limited them to a ten-hour work day, with Sunday off. Equally important, leases had to free the state from all costs associated with prisoner maintenance. Once all state convicts were leased, the law provided that all state penitentiary officers and employees be discharged.
March 3, 1932
1932 Former governor Joseph Mackey Brown died in Marietta, Ga. Born Dec. 28, 1851 in Cherokee County, Georgia. Brown was the son of Georgia Civil War governor Joseph Emerson Brown and later wrote a history of the momentous events he experienced during the war. As an adult, Brown became a Western and Atlantic Railroad executive. Based on almost a quarter century of railroad management experience, Brown was appointed to the Georgia Railroad Commission in 1904. Gov. Hoke Smith surprisingly dismissed Brown in 1907, touching off a decade-long political feud between the two. Brown was elected governor over Smith in 1908, but then lost a narrow race for re-election to Smith in 1910. When Smith resigned to become a U.S. senator, Brown won the election to succeed him. However, four years later, Smith easily defeated Brown in the senatorial race. Brown then retired from public life, though continuing to present his opinions in the Atlanta Constitution on matters such as the Leo Frank case, World War I, and women’s suffrage. Brown and Smith finally settled their differences aside in 1928 to support Al Smith for president. That year, Brown’s health began to decline, and he died in 1932.
March 3, 1962
1962 Football great Herschel Walker was born in Wrightsville, Georgia. The Johnson County High School running back was considered one of the top college prospects in the country. After extensive recruiting in the spring of 1980, Walker decided to sign with the University of Georgia Bulldogs. That fall, his impact was immediate and incredible. Walker was the catalyst that transformed a very good Georgia team into an undefeated national champion. During his three-year career at Georgia, the Bulldogs won 33 games while losing only three. In 1982 Walker was awarded the Heisman Trophy, symbolic of the best college football player in the nation. He went on to a successful professional football career with the USFL New Jersey Generals, then with the NFL Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. Walker retired from professional football in 1998. The following year, in his first year of eligibility, Walker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.