May 19, 1777
1777 As a result of a wound received three days earlier in a duel with Gen. Lachlin McIntosh, Button Gwinnett died in Savannah.
May 19, 1791
1791 On the second day of his visit to Augusta, Pres. George Washington was treated to a dinner at the Richmond Academy building then used as the county courthouse. That evening, a reception was held for him in the same building.
May 19, 1804
1804 Georgia ratified the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for separate voting for president and vice president.
May 19, 1864
1864 At Cassville, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston decided to lay a trap for an advancing Union column. However, generals Hood and Polk strongly opposed the location. Reluctantly, Johnston called off his battle plans -- a decision he would regret the rest of his life. That night, his army retreated across the Etowah River with plans to make a stand at Allatoona Pass, which lay 14 miles southeast of Cassville.
May 19, 1913
1913 An investigator from the William J. Burns detective agency arrived in Atlanta to assist in the investigation of Mary Phagan’s murder. Also, in what had become an almost-daily occurrence, there was a new rumor -- that a telephone operator had heard two men discussing their involvement in the murder. Like most of the other rumors, this one turned out to be false.
May 19, 1933
1933 The Atlanta City Council voted to legalize the sale of beer. Immediately, 49 applications for licenses were submitted and approved, adding $1125 to Atlanta’s depression-depleted coffers by the end of the day. Gov. Eugene Talmadge expressed displeasure with the council’s decision but said there was nothing he could or would do about it. When the governor’s opposition was mentioned by a councilman before the vote, he was loudly booed and jeered in council chambers.
May 19, 1959
1959 The Atlanta Public Library was integrated when Dr. Irene Dobbs Jackson, mother of Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, Jr., became the first African American to receive a library card.