May 28, 1542
1542 Following the death and burial of Hernando de Soto, the remaining leaders of his expedition feared the consequences of Indians finding his body -- so the Spaniards dug up De Soto’s body and placed in the Mississippi River.
May 28, 1830
1830 President Andrew Jackson signed into law the Indian Removal Act, which mandated that all Native Americans resettle west of the Mississippi River.
May 28, 1838
1838 In response to Pres. Martin Van Buren’s request that the four affected states grant the Cherokees two additional years to move west, Georgia Gov. George Gilmer replied in a letter to the president denied the request. Gilmer further charged that the request was a challenge to Georgia’s sovereignty and indicated that he personally would take charge of the removal if the federal government did not.
May 28, 1864
1864 After three consecutive days of Confederate victories, Union forces achieved a reversal as the fighting moved westward from Pickett’s Mill to Dallas, Ga. Here, in the Battle of Dallas, Confederates suffered 3,000 casualties compared to 2,400 for the Federals.
May 28, 1913
1913 Samples of the handwriting of Leo Frank, Newt Lee, and Jim Conley were released -- along with a portion of one of the notes found near Mary Phagan’s body. Jim Conley had admitted to writing the notes, but on this day he changed his story dramatically. Previously, he claimed Frank asked him to write the notes on Friday, the day preceding the murder. Now, Conley claimed he wrote them on Frank’s order after the murder. He added Frank had asked him to watch at the bottom of the stairs leading to Frank’s office, but he [Conley] had fallen asleep until he heard Frank whistle. When he went to Frank’s office, he testified that the supervisor was shaking so badly he had to hold onto Conley for support. Then, according to Conley, Frank had asked him to write the notes and muttered the ominous phrase "Why should I hang?"
May 28, 1944
1944 Rhythm-and-blues singer Gladys Knight, and lead singer of Gladys Knight and the Pips, was born in Atlanta.
May 28, 1960
1960 In Montgomery, Ala., an all-white jury acquitted Martin Luther King Jr. of tax evasion charges.