Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina down to Spanish Florida and New France along Louisiana (New France), also bordering to the west towards the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city.
Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. The state's northernmost part is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains system. The Piedmont extends through the central part of the state from the foothills of the Blue Ridge to the Fall Line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the coastal plain of the state's southern part. Georgia's highest point is Brasstown Bald at 4,784 feet (1,458 m) above sea level; the lowest is the Atlantic Ocean. Of the states entirely east of the Mississippi River, Georgia is the largest in land area.
In December 1946, Eugene Talmadge, the governor-elect of Georgia, died. The state constitution did not specify who would assume the governorship in such a situation. The situation became known as the Three Governors controversy. There were three men who made claims to the governorship:
- Herman Talmadge, who had run his father's successful campaign for governor.
- The lieutenant governor-elect, Melvin E. Thompson, said that he should be sworn in as governor in Eugene Talmadge's place, upon his swearing-in as lieutenant governor.
- Ellis Arnall, the outgoing governor, said that he should remain in office until his successor was properly sworn in.
The state's highest court, the Supreme Court of Georgia, ruled in March 1947 that the legislature had violated the state constitution by electing Herman Talmadge governor and that Lt. Governor Melvin E. Thompson should serve as governor until the next general election in November 1948. The court directed that in November 1948 there would be a special election at which voters would choose someone to complete Eugene Talmadage's term.
Herman Talmadge immediately gave in to the court decision, ending the controversy. He ran for governor in 1948, overwhelmingly defeating Governor Thompson for the Democratic nomination and then easily winning the November special election. He served the final 26 months of the term for which his father had been elected.
A girl spinner in a Georgia cotton mill, 1909
A cotton field in southern Georgia
Kickoff at Sanford Stadium of the Georgia-South Carolina college football game on September 8, 2007
Savannah's River Street is a popular tourist destination.
A hiker signs the register at the southern terminus on Springer Mountain
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election.
Population density of Georgia.
Image of March 1993 Storm of the Century covering the length of the east coast. The outline of Georgia is discernible in the center of the image.
A heat map of Georgia's counties depicting the median income as of 2014.
Map of elevations in Georgia
Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King has become a national icon in the history of modern American liberalism. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color-blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.
Selected anniversaries for November
Did you know...
- ...that the highest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. state of Georgia is 112 °F (44 °C), while the lowest ever recorded is -17 °F (-27 °C)?
Panoramic view of the Atlanta skyline, spanning from Midtown on the left to Downtown on right.
Things you can do