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5 Fun Facts About April 17 In Georgia History

---Learn Every Day: GA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ga To: 618-270-4005---

1. On April 17, 1792, Georgia ceded its western lands, which comprised present-day Alabama and Mississippi, to the federal government. This act was part of a larger effort to reduce Georgia's debts and stabilize the state's finances.

2. In 1864, during the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman led his troops into the city of Macon, Georgia. The Confederates under General Howell Cobb unsuccessfully attempted to defend the city, and Sherman occupied Macon for several days before moving on to Atlanta.

3. On April 17, 1945, Sergeant First Class Judson W. Welliver of Savannah, Georgia, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his bravery during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. Welliver had sacrificed his life while attempting to save his wounded comrades from enemy fire.

4. In 1961, the first integrated space flight was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Among the crew was Major Robert White, a native of Newnan, Georgia, who piloted the X-15 rocket plane to a speed of over 4,000 miles per hour and an altitude of more than 60 miles.

5. On April 17, 1987, the Georgia Dome, a state-of-the-art sports stadium, opened in Atlanta. The Dome was home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the NCAA's Georgia State Panthers, and hosted numerous other events including Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours, and concerts by music legends like U2 and the Rolling Stones. The Dome was replaced by Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017.
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