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5 Fun Facts About February 19 In Georgia History

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

1. In 1863, during the Civil War, Union forces under General William Tecumseh Sherman occupied and burned the city of Meridian, Mississippi, a strategic transportation hub for the Confederacy. This event eventually led to the fall of Atlanta the following year and helped secure victory for the Union.

2. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the forced relocation and internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. Many of these individuals were Georgia residents who were forced to leave their homes and businesses behind and were incarcerated in camps for the duration of the war.

3. The Georgia General Assembly adopted a new state flag on February 19, 2003, replacing the controversial previous design which prominently featured the Confederate battle emblem. The new flag featured a design inspired by the state's previous flags from the 1800s and was widely seen as a more inclusive and unifying symbol.

4. On February 19, 1974, the Atlanta Braves baseball team signed free agent slugger Hank Aaron to a record-breaking three-year contract worth $600,000 per year. Aaron had already established himself as one of baseball's all-time greats, but would go on to break Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974, cementing his legacy as a Georgia sports icon.

5. Georgia native and civil rights leader Hosea Williams was born on February 19, 1926. Williams worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery bus boycott and other key events of the civil rights movement, and later went on to serve as a member of the Atlanta City Council. He was known for his passionate and effective advocacy on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged.
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