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5 Fun Facts About December 21 In Georgia History

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

1. On December 21, 1825, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling in the landmark case of Worcester v. Georgia. The court held that the state of Georgia had no authority over the Cherokee Nation, a decision that was ultimately ignored by President Andrew Jackson and led to the forced removal of thousands of Cherokee people from their ancestral lands on the Trail of Tears.

2. In 1864, during the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman captured the city of Savannah after his famous March to the Sea. On December 21, he sent his famous telegraph to President Lincoln, presenting him with the city as a Christmas gift: "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

3. On December 21, 1945, Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall signed a bill establishing the Georgia Ports Authority, which oversees the operation of the state's ports in Savannah and Brunswick. Today, the Port of Savannah is one of the busiest and most important ports in the United States, handling millions of tons of cargo each year.

4. In 1988, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport opened a new $1.2 billion passenger terminal, known as the "Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal" in honor of the city's first black mayor. The terminal added nine domestic gates and 12 new international gates to the airport, which remains one of the busiest in the world.

5. On December 21, 2005, Georgia became the first state to ban the execution of mentally disabled offenders. The decision came in the case of Warren Hill, a man with an IQ of 70 who had been sentenced to death for the murder of a fellow inmate in prison. The ban on executing the mentally disabled has since been adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States.
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