Georgians Newsletter

Table of Contents

Did you know?

The name of the famous southern Georgia swamp, the Okefenokee, is derived from an Indian word meaning the trembling earth.

Joanna Troutman, a sixteen-year-old girl from Crawford County, Georgia became a Texas heroine by making the Lone Star State Flag which is the emblem of the State of Texas today.

Please forward to your family and friends. Winter is a wonderful time to explore some of Georgia's best attractions and museums. Join us in celebrating Georgia Black History Month in February! We appreciate your comments, and article ideas. And please visit us at www.buygeorgia.com. Together, we can accomplish amazing things!

Atlanta Metro

GEORGIA AQUARIUM OPENS WITH A SPLASH!

The New Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the World with more than 8 million gallons of water, over 100,000 fish (animals from 500 species) in a 550,000 square foot facility beautiful packaged and presented with inspiring music, drama, and theater which will no doubt touch your heart and stimulate your brain!

The Aquarium is a $200+ million dollar gift to the Atlanta community and the people of the state of Georgia from Bernie Marcus and his wife Billi Marcus through the Marcus Foundation.

You are entertained by fish from the moment you enter the door. Their movement seems to guide you inside. The aquarium opens up into a large atrium with a choice of five galleries and a 4-D theater. The galleries include: Georgia Explorer-“Discover our Coast, Deepo’s Undersea 3-D Wondershow , Tropical Diver-The Coral Kingdom, Ocean Voyager-Journey with Giants, Cold Water Quest-The Chilly Unknown, and River Scout-Freshwater Mysteries. There are also two behind the scenes tours available: Aquatic Adventures and Coastal Encounters.

Café Aquaria has a selection of “Best in Class” concepts featuring local and national favorites, appealing to a broad range of tastes, featuring dining options to suit the entire family including: The Grill, Naples Pizza and Pasta, Buckhead Bread and Ice Cream.

There are also two gift shops, “Beyond the Reef” and “Sand Dollars”. Here you still have the continued experience of being “underwater.” With giant jellyfish looming overhead at the entrance, an eight-foot tank to the left side and giant kelp on the right side, you will enjoy a lasting underwater experience with the opportunity to “swim” your way through aquarium apparel, collectibles, toys, books, and custom art pieces specially designed for undersea enthusiasts.

While you shop, the children can enjoy a light box table where they can trace their favorite character from the Deepo’s Undersea Wondershow or visit the coloring stations with a free coloring book for each child.

The Aquarium will add a new dimension to Georgia’s education curriculum. The educational experience at the Georgia Aquarium is very different from the traditional field trip. Each of their programs is conducted on The Learning Loop, the second floor of the aquarium, which is solely dedicated to teachers and students. In the Learning Loop, students will be engaged through animal encounters, games, interactive activities and research applicable to real world situations.

Students will have so much fun on the Learning Loop they may not realize they are actually in a learning environment. Annually, 70,000 schoolchildren will participate in the Aquarium’s educational programs – an experience that will integrate the new curriculum standards for the state of Georgia.

On a more global scale, the Georgia Aquarium (funded by individual donations) will support, conduct and lead research on environmental and conservation issues with the 4R Program which encompasses veterinary services and conservation. It is designed to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of aquatic life from around the world.

The Georgia Aquarium is located at 225 Baker Street, Atlanta, GA 30313, telephone (404) 581-4000. General Admission Cost: Adults-$22.75, Children (3-12)-$17.00, Seniors (55+)-$19.50. There is also an annual pass program. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 9:00-6:00 and Friday and Saturday 9:00-8:00. Reservations are required, so check the availability on the website. For more information go to www.georgiaaquarium.org.

Content provided by The Georgia Aquarium. Written by Pamela Clark.


Georgia Coast

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE ON A SOUTHERN RICE PLANTATION: HOFWYL-BROADFIELD PLANTATION

Join the celebration of black history month at the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, Saturday, February 18, 2006 between 10:00 and 3:00 p.m. During this celebration the program, “African-American Culture on a Southern Rice Plantation” will highlight Gullah/Geechee culture along the Georgia Coast.

Braima Moiwai will demonstrate African traditions including dress, music, and foods that helped shape Southern society. A slide show presentation reflecting the voyage many slaves took in route to America and the last sights they had of their native land will also be presented.

The plantation dates back to 1806 and is one of the last remaining traces of the rice plantations that flourished along the Georgia Coast. The original owner William Brailsford, who was joined by his son-in-law Hofwyl, built the property to a 7,300 acre parcel of land with several houses. On the plantation there were also 357 slaves that worked the land. After the civil war and William’s death, his family converted the property into a dairy rather than sell their home. The dairy closed in the early 1940s.

The property was willed to the State of Georgia, after the death of Ophelia William’s granddaughter. Today it is a property of 1,268 acres of land and the 696 acres of freshwater marshes and is used as scientific, historical, educational, and aesthetic purposes as specified in Ophelia’s will.

The existing Hofwyl House was built in the 1850’s. Because the two story house was not elevated it made it unique among the low country homes of the time. Five generations of antiques of the Brailsford’s descendents remain in the house including a film about the workings of a rice plantation and its planters and slaves and a model of a working rice plantation.

The Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site is located 13 miles north of Brunswick and four miles south of Darien in Glynn County. On U.S. Hwy 17, 1 mile east of I-95 exit #42. For more information on the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation visit their website at www.gastateparks.org/info/hofwyl.

The address of the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site is 5556 U.S. Hwy 17 N., Brunswick, GA, 31525. Telephone (912) 264-7333. Cost of Admission is $2.50 - $5.00.

Information obtained from Georgia State Parks. Article written by Pamela Clark.


Historic South

"SONG OF THE SOUTH" AND UNCLE REMUS TALES - JOE CHANDLER HARRIS

The Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton, Georgia chronicles the life of Joe Chandler Harris who was born in Putnam County. Harris is best known for his “Tales of Uncle Remus” which entertained and amused with stories set surrounding the Civil War era. Walt Disney brought the tales to the big screen with “Song of the South” in 1946. The museum is housed in a log cabin made from two former slave cabins.

Harris was a noted author, folklorist, and creator of the immortal Uncle Remus stories with the fables of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, the Tar Baby and other characters. His family was very poor and suffered many hardships.

Putnam County was a land of cotton, large plantations, and wealthy slave-owners in 1848 when Harris was born. Generous neighbors recognized his potential and arranged for him to attend private school. He often stopped by the local post office where the postmaster would give him discarded papers and magazines to help satisfy his active and hungry mind.

At the tender age of 13, he applied and was hired as a printer’s devil at Turnwold – a plantation that published a newspaper called “The Countryman.” While working at the newspaper, he began his life-long friendship with animals and with the plantation’s slaves from whom he picked up the stories of West African folklore which he later incorporated into his fables.

The master of Turnwold, Joseph Addison Turner, recognized Harris’s talent and ambition and began to include some of his stories in the newspaper. Turner worked with Harris to develop his writing style. In 1864, Harris left Turnwold when Sherman’s army invaded Putnam County and scorched the countryside.

Harris would further his career at the Macon Telegraph, The Monroe Advertiser, The Savannah Morning News, and the Atlanta Constitution. He worked closely with the men who rebuilt Atlanta and the South during the reconstruction days following the Civil War. It was at the Atlanta Constitution that Harris began to publish his stories that we recognize today.

The Uncle Remus stories have been translated into at least 27 different languages. The earthy quality and inimitable characterizations of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox and “all de critters” relate moral and spiritual values that transcend generations. Harris died in 1908 at his Atlanta home, the Wren’s Nest, now a shrine devoted to Harris.

The museum contains twelve shadow boxes of detailed woodcarvings of “de critters” humanized by the author in the Tales of Uncle Remus. Each shadow box depicts one of the twelve best known stories and were hand crafted by Frank Schnell of Columbus, Georgia.

In 1963, Walt Disney donated two pictures from the movie “Song of the South” and they are on display in the museum. One end of the cabin depicts the fireside of Uncle Remus where most of his stories were told to “Joel” – a character in his Tales. Turner Park, the site of the museum, was a part of the original home place of Joseph Sidney turner, the “Little Boy” in the Tales of Uncle Remus.

Walt Disney’s movie “Song of the South” was originally released in 1946 with critical acclaim. Disney subsequently released the movie in 1956, 1972, 1980 and 1986 with a total gross income of over $60 million dollars worldwide.

In the late 1980s Disney stopped distributing the film in the United States stating pressure from a few groups that it was “politically incorrect.” It’s a shame that so many generations will miss the big screen cultural richness that Harris worked so hard to bring to life.

The museum is open daily from 10-5 Monday thru Saturday. Sundays from 2-5. Admission is $1.00 for adults and 50 cents for children under 8 years of age. For more information, please call 706.485.6856.

Content provided by the Uncle Remus Museum. Article written by Jay D. Clark.


Georgia Mountains

OLD FASHIONED "MEDICINE AND MUSIC RADIO SHOW"

Don’t miss The MOUNTAIN MUSIC & MEDICINE SHOW (MMMS). This live show is broadcasted live on the radio! The story begins with “Doc Johnson’s Traveling Miracle Medicine Show” that has set up shop in Dahlonega, Georgia during the Gold Rush Days of the early 1800s through the modern times of the 1950s. The show is presented in a live old-time Radio broadcast. It will take you back in time without leaving your seat.

“Doc Johnson” has chosen the Square in front of Nix’s Store which just happens to be the hub of local commerce and the “social center” of town.

You’ll enjoy Doc’s musical acts as well as his own brand of humor while he persuades locals to buy his “"Wizard Water" elixir for improving their lives”. His show also showcases local talent as well. His fast-paced style and rapport with the crowd will keep your toes a-tapping and time moving briskly along. There are short skits where the scene occasionally shifts to "street scene" Here local people comment on the local happenings, which mix local history, culture, and humor in the unique Southern Appalachian style of the time period.

On January 16, the show will feature “The Georgia Potlickers”. They are an “old-time” string band from North Georgia. The band features a trio of very talented musicians who are deeply rooted in American traditional music. They breathe new life into the traditional Southern string band instrumentals and songs. Their music covers everything from the raucous fiddle and banjo tunes of their home state of Georgia to the ballads and frontier songs of the entire Appalachian and Piedmont regions. They occasionally play some original work into their show. The Georgia Potlickers provide audiences with music that will leave a lasting impression.

THE MOUNTAIN MUSIC & MEDICINE SHOW originated in Dahlonega, Georgia, has won three GABBY awards from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters for the best locally produced program in the State of Georgia. Amazing, especially considering that the MMMS is an all volunteer effort.

You can be a part of the live audience. The show is presented at the Buisson Arts Center Music Hall (old Dahlonega Baptist Church) at 8pm. The doors open at 7pm and the pre-show entertainment starts at 7:30. The live broadcast starts promptly at 8pm. General admission tickets are $10, reserved seats are $15. For ticket sales, contact the Buisson Arts Center box office, 706-867-0050. The show dates are January 14, February 11, March 11, and April 8, 2006.

Content provided by Dahlonega Chamber of Commerce. Article written by Pamela Clark


Georgia Southern Rivers

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN HONORED - ROOSEVELT'S LITTLE WHITE HOUSE

On February 11, 2006 spend a Saturday afternoon with Tuskegee Airmen as they visit the Roosevelt Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. These American heroes of WWII helped chart a new course for African Americans. The Tuskegee Airmen flew 15,553 sorties and completed 1578 missions during WWII and never lost a single bomber to enemy fire.

The United States Military, during World War II, was segregated and African Americans serving and defending our country experienced tremendous discrimination. The seeds of change, however, were planted on April 3, 1939 by Public Law 18 which provided for the expansion of the Army Air Corps. One section of the law offered hope for African Americans as it required that training programs be set up at black colleges which would prepare blacks for service in a variety of areas in the Air Corps support services.

In January 1941 the Army chose Tuskegee Institute located in Tuskegee, Alabama as the training grounds for the new segregated 99th Pursuit Squadron and the “Tuskegee Airmen” took flight. The Institute was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881 and had a strong Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) already in place and was led by the first African American to earn a pilot’s license – Charles Alfred.

Over 2,000 African Americans completed training at Tuskegee and nearly 75% of them qualified as pilots. The 99th Pursuit Squadron was activated and became the 99th Fighter Squadron in May 1942. In over 1,500 missions in Europe and North Africa, not one of the bombers that the Tuskegee Airmen escorted was lost to enemy fire. The 99th Fighter Squadron is the only U.S. squadron to hold that distinction during WWII.

Victory for the Tuskegee Airmen extended well beyond the battle for the skies. Due to the bravery, tenacity, and success of the squadron, President Harry S. Truman desegregated the United States Military in 1948.

Eleanor Roosevelt was an active supporter of the work going on at the Tuskegee Institute and especially the aeronautical school. In 1941 she visited the Tuskegee Army Air Field and requested to take a flight with one of the Tuskegee pilots. The Secret Service was anxious about the flight, but Mrs. Roosevelt insisted. Charles Anderson piloted Mrs. Roosevelt and they flew for over an hour over the skies of Alabama. Mrs. Roosevelt corresponded with leaders and graduates of the Tuskegee Institute for years after her visit and she was instrumental in persuading the President that these airmen deserved to play a critical role in the war and the opportunity to demonstrate their flying skills.

The public is invited to spend Saturday afternoon February 11, 2006 from 12-3pm at the FDR Memorial Museum in Warm Springs, Georgia and pay tribute to these American heroes. At least five of these heroes will be present so bring your cameras and autograph pens so that you can record your visit. Please call David Burke at (706) 655-5870 for more information or visit the website www.gastateparks.org.

Content provided by the Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Roosevelt Little White House. A special thanks to David Burke for his assistance with the article. Written by Jay D. Clark.


Georgia Charity Profile

BRINGING HOME THE GOLD! - PARKWOOD FARMS RIDERS EXCEL

During the Georgia Special Olympics 2005 State Horse Show held recently in Perry, Georgia; Gwinnett County brought home the gold. Six participants representing Gwinnett County and Parkwood Farms presented their skills and earned a total of 18 medals and ribbons, but more importantly, they had a great time and learned about good sportsmanship as well.

Nearly 150 competitors from across Georgia participated in a range of equestrian events, including English equitation, trails, western riding, dressage, and showmanship. The Gwinnett champions included James ‘J.J.’ Barr, Eric Ermutlu, Katie Hemby, Elliott Hester, Julian Stankee and Christopher McClintic-Doyle.

These young athletes have worked hard to develop their riding skills through the therapeutic riding program of Parkwood Farms, a multi-discipline therapy center located in Snellville.

Horse riding is noted as one of the most progressive forms of therapy for the disabled. Learning balance, coordination, and endurance are among the benefits, and programs like the Special Olympics Horse Show reinforce the growing sense of confidence, responsibility and self-esteem nurtured at Parkwood Farms.

Parkwood Farms is a non-profit organization which offers numerous therapeutic services including therapeutic riding for children with special needs including Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, emotional problems, and learning disabilities. Parkwood Farms seeks to raise $120,000 in tax-deductible charitable donations in 2006 to support its programs.

For more information or to make a contribution to help more children realize their potential at the 2006 State Horse Show, contact Dr. Marilyn Peterson at Parkwood Farms Therapy Center, Inc., 2519 Parkwood Road, Snellville, Georgia 30039. Telephone (678) 344-6821 or visit their website www.parkwoodfarms.org.

Featured in the picture are (from left to right) Dr. Peterson, Eric Ermutlu (winner), Katie Hemby (winner), James “JJ” Barr (winner), Christopher McClintic-Doyle (winner), Julian Stankee (winner), Amanda Stankee (volunteer), Elliot Hester (winner), Anne Nienaber (volunteer).

Article provided by Dr. Peterson.


Making a Difference

NANCY HART - REVOLUTIONARY WAR HEROIN

The freedoms and conveniences that we enjoy today were hard fought and won by many brave people who came before us. One of those people is Nancy Hart.

Her contributions made such a difference in history that a county in Georgia was named after her; as well were many monuments erected in her honor. She is a local Revolutionary War Heroine. Even today, Hart County is the only county in Georgia named after a woman.

Nancy Ann Morgan was born around 1735 and later married Benjamin Hart. In 1771, Nancy and Benjamin obtained a land grant of 400 acres, on the Broad River between where Elbert and Wilkes Georgia Counties are today. They were residing there when the Revolutionary War erupted. Their log cabin home still stands on the property today.

Nancy is said to have stood six feet tall, had flaming red hair, and apparently was quite a marksman with her musket. She served as a scout, guide, and spy for Revolutionary War General Elijah Clarke.

Once Nancy dressed as a man and entered a British camp. By pretending to be crazy, she was able to come away with vital information on British troop movements. Another time the Georgia Whigs badly needed information about what was going on over on the Carolina side of the Savannah River. Since there were no volunteers for the mission, Nancy tied a few logs together with grapevines, crossed the river and obtained the needed information.

The exploits of Nancy Hart, earned her a reputation such that the neighboring Cherokee Indians called her "Wahatchee," meaning "War Woman" out of a healthy respect and fear they had for her. They also gave that name to a creek adjacent to her cabin, now memorialized as a State Park.

It was said by a correspondent of the Savannah Morning News that Hart County was named "to perpetuate the memory of that 'Honey of a patriot' mentioned in George White's Statistics, under the name of Nancy Hart, and a fit tribute for such a brave hearted woman."

A representation of Nancy Hart may be seen on the Hart County Seal. The Seal was designed by Robert W. Knowles and adopted as the official seal on May 8, 1990.

As we start a new year, let’s remember those who helped to establish our wonderful state and country. Let’s not take those contributions and sacrifices for granted.

Content provided by the Hart County Chamber of Commerce. Article written by Pamela Clark.