June 24, 1497
1497 Explorer John Cabot first sighted the mainland of North America (present-day Newfoundland, Canada) and claims his discovery for England. It was this voyage that served as the basis for England’s claim to most of North America--including Georgia.
June 24, 1811
1811 U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Archibald Campbell was born near Washington, Georgia. After graduating from the University of Georgia at the age of 14, he practiced law in Alabama. In 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Campbell to the U.S. Supreme Court, where four years later he sided with the majority decision in the Dred Scott case, adding his own concurring opinion in the important case. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Campbell resigned from the high court and became Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy. Imprisoned briefly after the war, President Johnson ordered the release of Campbell, who then practiced law in New Orleans until his death in 1889.
June 24, 1820
1820 Henry Rootes Jackson was born in Athens, Georgia. Though primarily a lawyer, Jackson served Georgia and the U.S. in a variety of ways. Before the Civil War, he was a U.S. district attorney, Georgia Supreme Court justice, and U.S. ambassador to Austria. During the war, he was appointed a brigadier general of Georgia state forces and fought with Hood during the Atlanta campaign. After the Civil War, Jackson served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico. He also was a railroad executive, banker, and author of a book of poetry. He died May 23, 1898 in Savannah.
June 24, 1839
1839 Planter, former Georgia militia general, and former congressman John Floyd (1769-1839) died in Camden County, Georgia. During the early 1800s, he successfully fought the Creek Indians on Georgia’s western frontier, a fact leading the Georgia legislature to create Floyd County in 1833. During the War of 1812, his forces joined those of Andrew Jackson in fighting the Upper Creeks in Alabama. Later, he would serve in the Georgia General Assembly and one term in Congress. At the time of his death, he owned 230 slaves and large land holdings in Camden and McIntosh counties.
June 24, 1840
1840 Temperance and women’s suffrage leader Mary Latimer McLendon was born in DeKalb County, Ga. Younger sister of Rebecca Latimer Felton, she graduated from Southern Masonic Female College in Covington, Ga. in 1856. In 1860, she married Nicholas McLendon and moved to Atlanta. Forced to flee the city in 1864, they returned in 1868. She became active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Georgia Women’s Suffrage Association and fought for both causes the rest of her life. In 1923, Georgia members of the WCTU obtained permission to erect a marble fountain in Georgia’s state capitol in honor of the woman who was credited as the "Mother of Suffrage Work in Georgia."
June 24, 1913
1913 Georgia senator Hoke Smith denied rumors he had been approached about and was considering aiding in Leo Frank’s defense. The rumors spread after defense attorney Luther Rosser and National Pencil Company president Ike Haas stopped in Washington, D.C. en route to New York.