Georgia (U.S. state)
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 south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at 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 split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, 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 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 Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city.
Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state. 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, 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 above sea level. Of the states east of the Mississippi River, Georgia is the largest in land area. Before settlement by Europeans, Georgia was inhabited by the mound building cultures; the British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733. The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by King George II.
The Trustees implemented an elaborate plan for the colony's settlement, known as the Oglethorpe Plan, which envisioned an agrarian society of yeoman farmers and prohibited slavery. The colony was invaded by the Spanish during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a crown colony, with a governor appointed by the king; the Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. The State of Georgia's first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778, was the 4th state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. In 1829, gold was discovered in the North Georgia mountains leading to the Georgia Gold Rush and establishment of a federal mint in Dahlonega, which continued in operation until 1861.
The resulting influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to take land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgia's tribes. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester v. Georgia that U. S. states were not permitted to redraw Indian boundaries, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling. In 1838, his successor, Martin Van Buren, dispatched federal troops to gather the tribes and deport them west of the Mississippi; this forced relocation, known as the Trail of Tears, led to the death of over 4,000 Cherokees. In early 1861, Georgia became a major theater of the Civil War. Major battles took place at Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta. In December 1864, a large swath of the state from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. 18,253 Georgian soldiers died in service one of every five who served.
In 1870, following the Reconstruction Era, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be restored to the Union. With white Democrats having regained power in the state legislature, they passed a poll tax in 1877, which disenfranchised many poor blacks and whites, preventing them from registering. In 1908, the state established a white primary, they constituted 46.7% of the state's population in 1900, but the proportion of Georgia's population, African American dropped thereafter to 28% due to tens of thousands leaving the state during the Great Migration. According to the Equal Justice Institute's 2015 report on lynching in the United States, Georgia had 531 deaths, the second-highest total of these extralegal executions of any state in the South; the overwhelming number of victims were male. Political disfranchisement persisted through the mid-1960s, until after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. An Atlanta-born Baptist minister, part of the educated middle class that had developed in Atlanta's African-American community, Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as a national leader in the civil rights movement.
King joining with others to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta in 1957 to provide political leadership for the Civil Rights Movement across the South. By the 1960s, the proportion of
A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization and doctrine. Individual bodies, may use alternative terms to describe themselves, such as church or sometimes fellowship. Divisions between one group and another are defined by doctrine. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity"; these branches differ in many ways through differences in practices and belief. Individual denominations vary in the degree to which they recognize one another. Several groups claim to be the direct and sole authentic successor of the church founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD. Others, believe in denominationalism, where some or all Christian groups are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels and practices; because of this concept, some Christian bodies reject the term "denomination" to describe themselves, to avoid implying equivalency with other churches or denominations.
The Catholic Church which claims 1.2 billion members – over half of all Christians worldwide – does not view itself as a denomination, but as the original pre-denominational church, a view rejected by other Christians. Protestant denominations account for 37 percent of Christians worldwide. Together and Protestantism comprise Western Christianity. Western Christian denominations prevail in Western, Northern and Southern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas and Oceania; the Eastern Orthodox Church, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, is the second-largest Christian organization in the world and considers itself the original pre-denominational church. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church is itself a communion of independent autocephalous churches that mutually recognize each other to the exclusion of others; the Eastern Orthodox Church, together with Oriental Orthodoxy and the Assyrian Church of the East, constitutes Eastern Christianity. Eastern Christian denominations are represented in Eastern Europe, North Asia, the Middle East, Northeast Africa and South India.
Christians have various doctrines about the Church and about how the divine church corresponds to Christian denominations. Both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox hold that their own organizations faithfully represent the One Holy catholic and Apostolic Church to the exclusion of the other. Sixteenth-century Protestants separated from the Catholic Church because of theologies and practices that they considered to be in violation of their own interpretation. Members of the various denominations acknowledge each other as Christians, at least to the extent that they have mutually recognized baptisms and acknowledge orthodox views including the Divinity of Jesus and doctrines of sin and salvation though doctrinal and ecclesiological obstacles hinder full communion between churches. Since the reforms surrounding the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965, the Catholic Church has referred to Protestant communities as "denominations", while reserving the term "church" for apostolic churches, including the Eastern Orthodox.
But some non-denominational Christians do not follow any particular branch, though sometimes regarded as Protestants. Each group uses different terminology to discuss their beliefs; this section will discuss the definitions of several terms used throughout the article, before discussing the beliefs themselves in detail in following sections. A denomination within Christianity can be defined as a "recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church". "Church" as a synonym, refers to a "particular Christian organization with its own clergy and distinctive doctrines". Some traditional and evangelical Protestants draw a distinction between membership in the universal church and fellowship within the local church. Becoming a believer in Christ makes one a member of the universal church; some evangelical groups describe themselves as interdenominational fellowships, partnering with local churches to strengthen evangelical efforts targeting a particular group with specialized needs, such as students or ethnic groups.
A related concept is denominationalism, the belief that some or all Christian groups are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels and practices.. Protestant leaders differ from the views of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, the two largest Christian denominations; each church makes mutually exclusive claims for itself to be t
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle with the goal of enforcing constitutional and legal rights for African Americans that other Americans enjoyed. With roots that dated back to the Reconstruction era during the late 19th century, the movement achieved its largest legislative gains in the mid-1960s, after years of direct actions and grassroots protests that were organized from the mid-1950s until 1968. Encompassing strategies, various groups, organized social movements to accomplish the goals of ending legalized racial segregation, disenfranchisement, discrimination in the United States, the movement, using major nonviolent campaigns secured new recognition in federal law and federal protection for all Americans. After the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the 1860s, the Reconstruction Amendments to the United States Constitution granted emancipation and constitutional rights of citizenship to all African Americans, most of whom had been enslaved.
For a period, African Americans voted and held political office, but they were deprived of civil rights under Jim Crow laws, subjected to discrimination and sustained violence by whites in the South. Over the following century, various efforts were made by African Americans to secure their legal rights. Between 1955 and 1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations and productive dialogues between activists and government authorities. Federal and local governments and communities had to respond to these situations, which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans across the country; the lynching of Chicago teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi, the outrage generated by seeing how he had been abused, when his mother decided to have an open-casket funeral, mobilized the African-American community nationwide. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts, such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Moderates in the movement worked with Congress to achieve the passage of several significant pieces of federal legislation that overturned discriminatory practices and authorized oversight and enforcement by the federal government.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly banned discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or national origin in employment practices. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 restored and protected voting rights for minorities by authorizing federal oversight of registration and elections in areas with historic under-representation of minorities as voters; the Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned discrimination in the rental of housing. African Americans re-entered politics in the South, across the country young people were inspired to take action. From 1964 through 1970, a wave of inner-city riots in black communities undercut support from the white middle class, but increased support from private foundations; the emergence of the Black Power movement, which lasted from about 1965 to 1975, challenged the established black leadership for its cooperative attitude and its practice of nonviolence. Instead, its leaders demanded that, in addition to the new laws gained through the nonviolent movement and economic self-sufficiency had to be developed in the black community.
Many popular representations of the movement are centered on the charismatic leadership and philosophy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in non-violent, moral leadership. However, some scholars note that the movement was too diverse to be credited to any one person, organization, or strategy. Before the American Civil War four million blacks were enslaved in the South, only white men of property could vote, the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only. But some free states of the North extended the franchise and other rights of citizenship to African Americans. Following the Civil War, three constitutional amendments were passed, including the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. From 1865 to 1877, the United States underwent a turbulent Reconstruction Era trying to establish free labor and civil rights of freedmen in the South after the end of slavery. Many whites resisted the social changes, leading to insurgent movements such as the Ku Klux Klan, whose members attacked black and white Republicans to maintain white supremacy.
In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant, the U. S. Army, U. S. Attorney General Amos T. Akerman, initiated a campaign to repress the KKK under the Enforcement Acts; some states were reluctant to enforce the federal measures of the act. In addition, by the early 1870s, other white supremacist and insurgent paramilitary groups arose that violently opposed African-American legal equality and suffrage and suppressing black voters, assassinating Republican officeholders. However, if the states failed to implement the acts, the laws allowed the Federal Government to ge
Baptists are Christians distinguished by baptizing professing believers only, doing so by complete immersion. Baptist churches generally subscribe to the tenets of soul competency/liberty, salvation through faith alone, scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ordinances: baptism and the Lord's supper. Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. Historians trace the earliest "Baptist" church to 1609 in Amsterdam, Dutch Republic with English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor. In accordance with his reading of the New Testament, he rejected baptism of infants and instituted baptism only of believing adults. Baptist practice spread to England, where the General Baptists considered Christ's atonement to extend to all people, while the Particular Baptists believed that it extended only to the elect.
Thomas Helwys formulated a distinctively Baptist request that the church and the state be kept separate in matters of law, so that individuals might have freedom of religion. Helwys died in prison as a consequence of the religious conflict with English dissenters under King James I. In 1638, Roger Williams established the first Baptist congregation in the North American colonies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the First and Second Great Awakening increased church membership in the United States. Baptist missionaries have spread their faith to every continent. Baptist historian Bruce Gourley outlines four main views of Baptist origins: the modern scholarly consensus that the movement traces its origin to the 17th century via the English Separatists, the view that it was an outgrowth of Anabaptist traditions, the perpetuity view which assumes that the Baptist faith and practice has existed since the time of Christ, the successionist view, or "Baptist successionism", which argues that Baptist churches existed in an unbroken chain since the time of Christ.
Modern Baptist churches trace their history to the English Separatist movement in the 1600s, the century after the rise of the original Protestant denominations. This view of Baptist origins has the most historical support and is the most accepted. Adherents to this position consider the influence of Anabaptists upon early Baptists to be minimal, it was a time of considerable religious turmoil. Both individuals and churches were willing to give up their theological roots if they became convinced that a more biblical "truth" had been discovered. During the Protestant Reformation, the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church. There were some Christians who were not content with the achievements of the mainstream Protestant Reformation. There were Christians who were disappointed that the Church of England had not made corrections of what some considered to be errors and abuses. Of those most critical of the Church's direction, some chose to stay and try to make constructive changes from within the Anglican Church.
They are described by Gourley as cousins of the English Separatists. Others decided they must leave the Church because of their dissatisfaction and became known as the Separatists. Historians trace the earliest Baptist church back to 1609 in Amsterdam, with John Smyth as its pastor. Three years earlier, while a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, he had broken his ties with the Church of England. Reared in the Church of England, he became "Puritan, English Separatist, a Baptist Separatist," and ended his days working with the Mennonites, he began meeting in England with 60–70 English Separatists, in the face of "great danger." The persecution of religious nonconformists in England led Smyth to go into exile in Amsterdam with fellow Separatists from the congregation he had gathered in Lincolnshire, separate from the established church. Smyth and his lay supporter, Thomas Helwys, together with those they led, broke with the other English exiles because Smyth and Helwys were convinced they should be baptized as believers.
In 1609 Smyth first baptized himself and baptized the others. In 1609, while still there, Smyth wrote a tract titled "The Character of the Beast," or "The False Constitution of the Church." In it he expressed two propositions: first, infants are not to be baptized. Hence, his conviction was that a scriptural church should consist only of regenerate believers who have been baptized on a personal confession of faith, he rejected the Separatist movement's doctrine of infant baptism. Shortly thereafter, Smyth left the group, layman Thomas Helwys took over the leadership, leading the church back to England in 1611. Smyth became committed to believers' baptism as the only biblical baptism, he was convinced on the basis of his interpretation of Scripture that infants would not be damned should they die in infancy. Smyth, convinced that his self-baptism was invalid, applied with the Mennonites for membership, he died while waiting for membership, some of his followers became Mennonites. Thomas Helwys and others kept their Baptist commitments.
The modern Baptist denomination is an outgrowth of Smyth's movement. Baptists rejected the name Anabaptist. McBeth writes that as late as the 18th century, many Baptists referred to themselves as "the Christians commonly—though falsely—called Anabaptists."Another milestone in the early dev
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
Savannah Historic District (Savannah, Georgia)
The Savannah Historic District is a large urban U. S. historic district that corresponds to the city limits of Savannah, Georgia prior to the American Civil War. The area was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1966, is one of the largest districts of its kind in the United States; the district was made in recognition of the unique layout of the city, begun by James Oglethorpe at the city's founding and propagated for over a century of its growth. The plan of the historic portions of Savannah is based on the concept of a ward, as defined by James Oglethorpe; each ward had a central square, around which were arrayed four tythings. Each trust lot was to be used for a civic purpose, such as a school, government building, museum, or other public venue, while the tythings were each subdivided into ten lots for residential use; the wards were oriented in a rectlinear grid with east-west alignment. In a typical ward, the trust lots were set east and west of the square, the residential lots of the typthings were extended north and south of the trust lots and the square, each tything divided into two rows of five lots, separated by alleys.
In the early years of the Province of Georgia, the ward organization was in part military, with each ward's inhabitants organized into militia units, the central squares acting as a gathering point for refugees from outside the city walls. Each year, the Savannah Historic District attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture and green spaces; the district includes the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the First African Baptist Church, Temple Mickve Israel, the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex, the old Colonial Cemetery, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Old Harbor Light. Other buildings in the district include the Isaiah Davenport House, the Green-Meldrim House, the Owens-Thomas House, the William Scarbrough House, the United States Customhouse. Notable green spaces in the district include Savannah's 22 shaded squares, the 30-acre Forsyth Park, Emmet Park. Main article: Gallery of Buildings in Savannah Historic District The Oglethorpe Plan Savannah Victorian Historic District Squares of Savannah, Georgia Savannah, Georgia#Points of interest List of National Historic Landmarks in Georgia National Register of Historic Places listings in Chatham County, Georgia Media related to Savannah Historic District at Wikimedia Commons Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map search for Savannah GA photosets here, at Historic American Buildings Survey Official Savannah info regards the district]
For the Department of Energy facility, see Savannah River Site The Savannah River is a major river in the southeastern United States, forming most of the border between the states of South Carolina and Georgia. Two tributaries of the Savannah, the Tugaloo River and the Chattooga River, form the northernmost part of the border; the Savannah River drainage basin extends into the southeastern side of the Appalachian Mountains just inside North Carolina, bounded by the Eastern Continental Divide. The river is around 301 miles long, it is formed by the confluence of the Seneca River. Today this confluence is submerged beneath Lake Hartwell; the Tallulah Gorge is located on the Tallulah River, a tributary of the Tugaloo River that forms the northwest branch of the Savannah River. Two major cities are located along the Savannah River: Savannah, Augusta, Georgia, they were nuclei of early English settlements during the Colonial period of American history. The Savannah River is tidal at Savannah proper.
Downstream from there, the river broadens into an estuary before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. The area where the river's estuary meets the ocean is known as "Tybee Roads"; the Intracoastal Waterway flows through a section of the Savannah River near the city of Savannah. The name "Savannah" comes from a group of Shawnee, they destroyed the Westo and occupied established Westo lands at the Savannah River's head of navigation on the Fall Line, near present-day Augusta. These Shawnee were called by several variant names that all derive from their native name, Ša·wano·ki; the local variants included Shawano, Savano and Savannah. Another theory is that the name was derived from the English term "savanna", a kind of tropical grassland, borrowed by the English from Spanish sabana and used in the colonial southeast; the Spanish word was borrowed from the Taino word zabana. Other theories interpret the name Savannah to come from Atlantic coastal tribes, who spoke Algonquian languages, as there are similar terms meaning not only "southerner" but "salt".
Historical and variant names of the Savannah River, as listed by the U. S. Geological Survey, include May River, Westobou River, Kosalu River, Isundiga River and Girande River, among others; the Westobou River was the former name of the Savannah River, derived from the Westo Native American Indians. The Westo were thought to have come from the northeast, pushed out by the more powerful tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy, who had acquired firearms through trade; this migration beginning in the late 16th century resulted in the Westo Indians reaching the present area of Augusta, Georgia, in what was to be the 1660s. The Westo used the river for fishing and water supplies, for transportation, for trade, they were strong enough to hold off the Spanish colonists making incursions from Florida. The Carolina Colony needed the Westo alliance during its early years; when Carolinians desired to expand its trade to Charleston, they viewed the Westo tribe as an obstacle. In order to remove the tribe, they sent a group called the Goose Creek Men to arm the Savanna Indians, a Shawnee tribe, who defeated the Westo in the Westo War of 1680.
Following this, the English colonists renamed the river as the Savannah. They founded two major cities on the river during the colonial era: Savannah was established in 1733 as a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean, Augusta is located where the river crosses the Fall Line of the Piedmont; the two large cities on the Savannah served as Georgia's first two state capitals. In the nineteenth century, the sandy river channel changed causing numerous steamboat accidents. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a blockade around the Confederate states, forcing merchantmen to use specific ports along the coast best suited for this purpose; the harbor at Savannah became one of the busiest ports for blockade runners bringing in supplies for the Confederacy. The Savannah River was significant during the 1950s when construction started on the U. S. government's Savannah River Plant for making tritium for nuclear weapons. In 1956 Clyde L. Cowan and Frederick Reines detected neutrinos with an experiment carried out at the Savannah River Nuclear Plant, after a preliminary experiment at the Hanford Site.
They placed a 10-ton tank of water next to a powerful nuclear reactor engaged in making plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. After shielding the neutrino trap underground and running it for about 100 days over the course of a year, they detected a few synchronized flashes of gamma radiation that signaled the interaction of a few neutrinos with the protons in the water; the neutrinos were not themselves observed, they never have been. Their presence is inferred by an exceedingly rare interaction. One out of every billion billion neutrinos that pass through the water tank hits a proton, producing the telltale burst of radiation. In 1995 Reines was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for this accomplishment, but Cowen did not live long enough to share it. Between 1946 and 1985, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers built three major dams on the Savannah for hydroelectricity, flood control, navigation; the J. Strom Thurmond Dam, the Hartwell Dam, the Richard B. Russell Dam and their reservoirs combine in order to form over 120 miles of lakes.
Donnie Thompson named a small subdivision "Westobou Crossing", located in North Augusta, South Carolina. The area of the subdivision is located marks the first natural ford that crosses the Savannah River, thus promoting trade and allowing travel. Many native a