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Georgia, US (Population: 9,363,941)
State Capitol: Atlanta

Major Cities: Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, Athens, Macon, Roswell, Albany, Marietta, Warner Robins

State Nickname/Motto: Peach State – Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation

Statehood Granted: January 2, 1788

History: Between 1790 and 1830 the population of Georgia increased six-fold. The western push of the settlers created a problem. Georgians continued to take American Indian lands and force them into the frontier. Cherokee had long called western Georgia home. The Cherokee Nation continued in their enchanted land until 1828; it was then that the rumored gold, for which De Soto had relentlessly searched, was discovered in the North Georgia mountains. The Cherokees in 1828 were not nomadic savages. They had assimilated many European-style customs, built roads, schools and churches, had a system of representational government, and were farmers and cattle ranchers. A Cherokee alphabet, the "Talking Leaves" was perfected by Sequoyah. In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation. In 1832, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee on the same issue in Worcester v. Georgia. In this case Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign, making the removal laws invalid. However, a few Cherokee signed The Echota Treaty in 1838 that allowed one of the saddest episodes of our brief history, that took men, women, and children from their land, herded them into makeshift forts with minimal facilities and food, and then forced them to march a thousand miles. About 4000 Cherokee died as a result of the removal. The route they traversed and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").

Geography: Highest point: Brasstown Bald; 4,784 feet. Beginning from the Atlantic Ocean, the state's eastern border with South Carolina runs up the Savannah River, northwest to its origin at the confluence of the Tugaloo River and Seneca River. It then continues up the Tugaloo (originally Tugalo) and into the Chattooga River, its most significant tributary. Georgia is bordered on the west by Alabama and by Florida in the extreme southwest; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the vast mountain system of the Appalachians. The central piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.6%), White (62.5%), Black or African American 29.2%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.2%), Asian (2.7%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.0%), Some other race 3.9%), Two or more races (1.4%), Hispanic or Latino (7.1%)*

Famous State People:
  • Jimmy Carter (1924 - ) 39th president of the United States; born in Plains.
  • Ty Cobb (1886 - 1961) Baseball player in the Hall of Fame; born in Banks City.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) Civil rights leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; born in Atlanta.
  • Gladys Knight (1946 - ) Singer and winner of four Grammy awards; born in Atlanta.
  • Juliette Low (1860 - 1927) Founder of the Girl Scouts of America; born in Savannah.
  • Margaret Mitchell (1900 - 1949) Author of Gone with the Wind (1936) that won a Pulitzer Prize; born in Atlanta.
  • Little Richard (1932 - ) Singer, considered to be "the architect of rock and roll", born in Macon.
  • Jackie Robinson (1919 - 1972) The first African American baseball player in the major leagues; born in Cairo.
  • Sequoya (1770 - 1843) Invented the first alphabet of the Native American language; lived in New Echota.
  • Ted Turner (1938 - ) Media Mogul. Owner of the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Hawks.
  • Trisha Yearwood (1964 - ) Country-western singer; born in Monticello.
  • James Brown (1933 - ) Singer, often called "the Godfather of Soul;" raised in Augusta.
  • Alice Walker (1944 - ) Author of many books including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple, born in Eatonton.
  • Travis Tritt (1963 - ) Famous County/Western singer and songwriter; born in Marietta.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Albany State University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Augusta State University, Bainbridge College, Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Dalton State College, Darton College, East Georgia College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia College and State University, Georgia Military College, Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Institute of Technology, Valdosta State University

    State and National Parks: Georgia is home to 63 parks, 48 of which are state parks and 15 that are historic sites, and numerous state wildlife preserves, under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Other historic sites and parks are supervised by the National Park Service and include the Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville; Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area near Atlanta; Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park at Fort Oglethorpe; Cumberland Island National Seashore near Saint Marys; Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island; Fort Pulaski National Monument in Savannah; Jimmy Carter National Historic Site near Plains; Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park near Kennesaw; Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta; Ocmulgee National Monument at Macon; Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

    Misc: Georgia's musical output includes Southern rap groups like Outkast and Goodie Mob, as well as a wide variety of rock, pop and country artists. The music of Athens, Georgia, is especially well-known for a kind of quirky college rock that has included such well-known bands as R.E.M. and The B-52s. The state's official music museum is the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, located in Macon, Georgia. Colleges such as the University of Georgia and Columbus State University have extensive music departments. Georgia's folk musical traditions include important contributions to the Piedmont blues, shape note singing and African American music. Augusta native James Brown and Macon native Little Richard started performing in Georgia clubs on the Chitlin' Circuit, fusing gospel with blues and boogie-woogie to lay the foundations for R&B and Soul music, and rank among the most iconic musicians of the 20th century. In the 1960s, Atlanta native Gladys Knight proved one of the most popular Motown recording artists, while Otis Redding, born in the small town of Dawson but raised in Macon, defined the grittier Southern soul sound of Memphis-based Stax Records.

    *U.S. Census - 2005