March 28, 1722
1722 James Oglethorpe was elected to the House of Commons from Haslemere, a Surrey town near Godalming (where the Oglethorpe’s Westbrook Manor estate was situated) where Oglethorpe owned various properties . This was the same parliamentary seat that his father and one of his older brothers had held.
March 28, 1834
1834 Businessman and politician Rufus Bullock was born in Bethlehem, New York. After a successful career constructing telegraph lines in several large northern cities, Bullock moved south to Augusta in 1857 . Working with The Southern Express Company, Bullock was soon constructing telegraph lines thoughout the South. Although he was personally opposed to secession, he continued to build telegraph and railroad lines for the Confederacy. The Civil War devastated Georgia’s economy, and after the war Bullock found it difficult to obtain loans to rebuild his business. Told that the money would be available when Georgia was readmitted to the Union, Bullock became involved in politics. A Republican, he supported Reconstruction as the quickest and most efficient way to speed Georgia’s economic recovery. In 1868, Bullock narrowly defeated ex-Confederate John B. Gordon in the gubernatorial race -- but his victory came at an inopportune time. The Democratic legislature, still bitter from the war and Reconstruction policies, opposed him at every step. Bullock was eventually forced to request that military control (which had ended in 1868) be reestablished. With such control in place and many ex-Confederates barred from office, Bullock faced a more cooperative legislature in 1870. This body approved the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, and Georgia was officially restored to the Union in the summer of 1870. But Bullock had made many enemies, and his administration was accused of corruptness and squandering the state treasury. As a result, Bullock quietly resigned in October 1871 and fled the state. He was arrested in New York and returned to Atlanta for trial. In court, prosecutors could not prove that Bullock had done anything illegal. The debt he had incurred had been used to redeem pre-war debts, build railroads, improve schools, and move the capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta. Vindicated in court, Bullock remained in Atlanta, resumed a successful business career, and became one of the city’s leading citizens. He served on the boards of banks, railroads, and the Chamber of Commerce. Bullock also was on the board of directors and presided over opening ceremonies for the Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895. In 1903, with his health failing, he returned to his family home in Albion, N.Y., where he died there April 27, 1907.
March 28, 1889
1889 Atlanta lumber dealer George V. Gress and railroad contractor Thomas J. James attended an auction of a bankrupt traveling circus at the Fulton County courthouse. The two joined together for the winning bid of $4,485. James wanted the circus wagons and railroad cars for his business, while Gress was interested in the collection of circus animals -- which consisted of four lions, two wildcats, two deer, two monkeys, two snakes, and one each of the following: a hyena, gazelle, raccoon, elk, Mexican hog, camel, and dromedary. A few days later, Gress offered the animals and their cages to the city of Atlanta. Several days after that, the city council accepted and decided to locate the animals in Grant Park. Gress then took responsibility for building a large brick building to house the animals, giving Atlanta its first zoo. Gress’ generosity did not end here. In 1893, he and Charles Northern purchased the cyclorama painting of the Battle of Atlanta, which they placed in Grant Park for public viewing. Over the next six years, Gress donated the $12,000 in admissions to see the cyclorama for use in helping Atlanta’s poor children. Finally, in 1898, Gress donated the painting to the city of Atlanta.
March 28, 1935
1935 Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed a joint resolution of the General Assembly adopting a pledge of allegiance to the Georgia state flag, which states: "I pledge allegiance to the Georgia flag and to the principles for which it stands; Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation."
March 28, 1961
1961 Gov. Ernest Vandiver signed a joint resolution of the General Assembly protesting a threat by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to cut off all federal welfare funds if Georgia implemented an act of the legislature prohibiting welfare payments to any mother for more than one illegitimate child.
March 28, 1961
1961 Gov. Vandiver signed a joint resolution of the General Assembly appropriating $75,000 to complete the restoration of Fort McAllister in Bryan County.
March 28, 1961
1961 Gov. Vandiver signed a joint resolution of the General Assembly directing the construction and erection of monuments at Gettysburg and Antietam to honor Georgians killed in battle. The action came in conjunction with the Civil War Centennial and was prompted by the fact that Georgia was the only southern state without a memorial at either battlefield.
March 28, 1968
1968 Gov. Lester Maddox signed legislation allowing the commercial raising of alligators subject to regulation by the State Game and Fish Commission.
March 28, 1972
1972 Gov. Jimmy Carter signed Georgia’s "Sunshine Law" mandating opening meetings of state boards and commissions, subject to a few exceptions (such as personnel matters, real estate acquisition, and proceedings of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles).
March 28, 1988
1988 Gov. Joe Frank Harris signed a joint resolution of the General Assembly ratifying the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides: "No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened." However, the U.S. State Department, which is formally responsible for monitoring the ratification of amendments by states, considers Feb. 2, 1988 as the date of the Georgia’s ratification. Its rationale is that under the U.S. Constitution, there is no requirement for a governor to approve a state’s ratification. Thus, the State Department considers the date that the second house of the legislature approves the ratification is the date of that state’s ratification.
March 28, 1998
1998 In downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park was reopened after phase two of the construction schedule. Its completion was intended to make the park a continuing legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.