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5 Fun Facts About March 31 In Georgia History

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

1. In 1865, Union troops under the command of General James Wilson occupied Columbus, Georgia, marking the end of the Civil War in the state. The city would be disarmed and placed under martial law for several months afterward.

2. On March 31, 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Emergency Relief and Construction Act, which allocated $1.5 billion for public works projects to help combat the Great Depression. Many of these projects, such as the construction of dams and bridges, would have a lasting impact on Georgia's infrastructure.

3. In 1970, Georgia Governor Lester Maddox signed into law legislation that changed the state flag, replacing the prominent Confederate battle emblem with a less controversial design featuring the state seal. This change was prompted in part by the growing civil rights movement and the pressure it placed on Southern states to confront their racist legacies.

4. On March 31, 1980, Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport (now known as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) became the world's busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, surpassing Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. It has held that title ever since, and in recent years has handled over 100 million passengers annually.

5. In 2014, former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall was indicted on multiple felony charges for her role in a widespread cheating scandal that had implicated teachers and administrators across the district. The scandal had tarnished the reputation of the city's public schools and drawn national attention to the issue of school accountability. Hall, who was suffering from breast cancer at the time, died before her trial could take place.
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