Wednesday 20 July 2011

The America project - Georgia

Georgia (GA) size 59,425 sq.m population 9.7 million

Bordering states Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida (5)
State capital & Most populous city Atlanta
Other notable places Augusta, Athens, Roma, Marietta, Columbus
Notable landmarks and natural features Etowah Mounds; Fort James Jackson; Andersonville National Historic Site

Statehood 2nd January 1788 (4th)

Ten famous Georgians
Jimmy Carter (politician, 39th President of the USA; born Plains, 1924 -)
Ray Charles (musician; born Albany, 1930-2004)
Laurence Fishburne (actor; born Augusta, 1961 -)
Oliver Hardy (comic actor; born Harlem, 1892-1957)
Bill Hicks (comedian; born Valdosta, 1961-1994)
Martin Luther King Jr (civil rights leader; born Atlanta, 1929-1968)
Little Richard (musician; born Macon, 1932 -)
Otis Redding (singer; born Dawson, 1941-1967)
Sugar Ray Robinson (boxer; born Ailey, 1921-1989)
Michael Stipe (singer; born Decatur, 1960 -)

Three important events

1. Georgia Gold Rush (1829)
Gold was discovered in Lumpkin County, Georgia in 1828, initiating the first United States gold rush, and still its second-largest in history. By 1830, over 4000 people were working at Yahoola Creek, Lumpkin County alone, for a yield of 8.5kg of gold per day. The knock-on effect was conflict between the prospectors and the Native Americans, who were forced off of their land, never to return. The rush petered out by the early 1840s, with easy pickings now scarce and an even richer discovery of gold in California.

2. Reconstruction (1865)
After the Civil War, Georgia's demographics experienced a seismic shift. Before the conflict, 44% of the entire population of the State had been slaves. Now freed, the black population headed towards the cities, mostly finding work in the railroad and construction industries. However, prejudices and legal impediments persisted for nearly another century, seeing a great deal of migration to the North and West of the country.

3. The lynching of Leo Frank (1915)
Leo Frank was a Jewish businessman and owner of a pencil factory. In 1913 he was (most probably falsely) accused of the rape and murder of a 13-year old employee, Mary Phagen. The local press got a hold of the case and created a great storm of publicity. Antisemitic feelings ran high, so when after Frank's trial his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, 25 prominent local citizens calling themselves "The Knights of Mary Phagen" kidnapped Frank from prison and lynched him in Marietta. In response, the Anti-Defamation League was formed in America to fight all forms of antisemitism and bigotry.

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