March 1, 1778
1778 Georgia’s Whig legislature passed a law declaring 117 royalists as traitors and confiscating their property.
March 1, 1781
1781 Maryland became the final state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. Because the document required ratification by all 13 states, March 1 marked the day America’s first constitution went into effect.
March 1, 1856
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved by the governor on March 1:
1856 Jefferson (Camden County)
March 1, 1875
1875 Congress passed the United States’ first civil rights act, which attempted to provide blacks with equal treatment in public places and transportation.
March 1, 1875
1875 Gov. James Smith approved an act making cruelty to animals a misdemeanor. Anyone found to "torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, cruelly beat or mutilate" an animal could be fined up to $50.
March 1, 1890
1890 Lawyer and politician William Hartsfield was born in Atlanta. Admitted to the practice of law in 1917, he was elected to Atlanta’s city council in 1923. There, he chaired the council’s aviation committee and led the drive to create an Atlanta airport. Elected to the General Assembly in 1933, Hartsfield most noted accomplishments would come after election as mayor of Atlanta in 1937 -- an office he would hold except for one brief interval until his retirement from politics in 1962. Under his leadership, Atlanta went from a city on the verge of bankruptcy during the Depression to having a $3.5 million surplus at the time of his retirement. He sponsored improvements to Atlanta’s zoo (Willie B. was named for him), Stone Mountain, and the Cyclorama. He created a department of public safety to oversee the city’s police, fire, and traffic departments -- which previously had been characterized by controversy and graft. Hartsfield also fought for the overthrow of the county-unit system to give a greater voice to Atlanta’s urban voters. He facilitated the peaceful integration of Atlanta’s city schools and was a proponent of racial moderation. Hartsfield also was a key supporter of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River, which created Lake Sidney Lanier and an abundant supply of water for Atlanta. He stayed active after his retirement unit his death in Atlanta Feb. 22, 1971. Atlanta’s airport, now one of the world’s busiest, subsequently was named in his honor.
March 1, 1913
1913 The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect imposing a national income tax.
March 1, 1943
1943 Rickenbacker Field, named for aviation hero Eddie Rickenbacker, was completed in Marietta by the U.S Army’s Corps of Engineers. The field originally was begun in June 1941 as a commercial airport by Cobb County and the Civil Aeronautics Administration. At the time that Marietta was chosen as the site for the Bell Bomber plant, Rickenbacker Field was only partially finished. By March 1942, when the Corps of Engineers took over the project, the CAA had spent $470,000 and engineering fees, while Cobb County had appropriated $269,000 to build the airport. Eventually, the Corps would spent over $2 million more on extensions and improvements, giving Rickenbacker Field some of the best runways in America in terms of length, thickness, and number. (Contributed by Dr. Tom Scott, Kennesaw State University)
March 1, 1996
1996 Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens, who holds the National Basketball Association record for most wins as a coach, won his 1,000th victory as the Hawks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 74-68.
March 1, 2007
2007 A series of tornadoes ripped through southwest Georgia’s Mitchell, Taylor, and Sumter Counties, killing nine people and causing extensive damage to buildings and homes, inlcuding a hospital in Americus.