August 26, 1864
1864 Atlantans woke to find the Union siege of the city apparently lifted. Hearts were buoyed as many believed the empty trenches meant that Sherman had given up on the siege and Atlanta was saved. Actually, Sherman had launched a new strategy. Part of the withdrawn Union force was deployed to guard the Western & Atlantic railroad bridge crossing the Chattahoochee north of town. Most, however, were sent on a flanking movement around the west perimeter of Atlanta. Their goal was to organize far enough south of Atlanta that Hood would be forced to pull his Confederate forces out of the city.
August 26, 1903
1903 Author Caroline Miller was born in Waycross, Georgia. Drawing from her own personal experiences, as well as gathering lore from her friends and relatives in the Waycross area, she wrote Lamb in His Bosom. Published in 1933, the novel told of life in rural areas of South Georgia before the Civil War and won the 1934 Pulitzer Prize for Literature.
August 26, 1913
1913 In Atlanta, Fulton County Superior Court judge L.S. Roan sentenced Leo Frank to hang for the murder of Mary Phagan. The execution date was set for October 10, but Frank’s attorneys immediately entered a motion for a new trial. The hearing on this motion was set for October 4, thus assuring that there would be a delay in carrying out Frank’s sentence.
August 26, 1933
1933 Governor Eugene Talmadge and his delegation of 500 Georgians returned from Chicago’s World’s Fair.
August 26, 1950
1950 Businessman, politician, civic leader, and philanthropist Columbus Roberts, Sr. died in Columbus, Georgia. Born in Alabama in 1870, Roberts opened a carbonated beverage firm in Opelika in 1893. His success led the new Coca-Cola Co. to give him the franchise to bottle Coke in Opelika and Columbus. As a result, Roberts became wealthy--but he had other interests and turned the company over to his son in 1936. One of these interests was agriculture. From 1927 to 1931, Roberts served in the Georgia General Assembly, where he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. In 1937, he was elected as state Commissioner of Agriculture, where he accomplished many reforms. In 1940, he unsuccessfully ran for governor against Eugene Talmadge. Afterwards, he became an active benefactor of religious education at Mercer University, Tift College, and the Georgia Baptist Foundation.
August 26, 1961
1961 Two Georgia military units, the 718th Engineer Light Equipment Company of Fort Valley and the 210th Signal Base Depot Company of Augusta, were called to active duty in response to the Berlin crisis in Germany.
August 26, 1975
1975 As the Atlanta Braves woes continued, team executives fired manager Eddie Haas and called on coach Bobby Wine to take the helm.
August 26, 1986
1986 Carlton Gary was found guilty of the Wynnton Stocking Strangler murders, a series of killings in the Columbus area. He was given a death sentence the following day.
August 26, 1998
1998 In a 6-2 win against the Houston in the Astrodome, Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones got two doubles and a diving catch in the ninth inning. More importantly, Jones hit his 20th home run of the season, becoming the youngest player in major league baseball history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season.