Georgia State Defense Force
The Georgia State Defense Force is an unpaid, volunteer component of the Georgia Department of Defense, serving in support of the national and state constitutions under direction of the governor and the adjutant general of Georgia. As a State Defense Force, members serve alongside the Georgia Army National Guard and the Georgia Air National Guard; the mission of the Georgia State Defense Force is to provide an organized, disciplined, rapid response volunteer force to assist state and local government agencies and civil relief organizations during emergencies to ensure the welfare and safety of Georgia citizens. The SDF's members help and augment the Georgia National Guard, provide professional skills to the Georgia Department of Defense, assist Georgia communities. Volunteers are trained to assist the National Guard, provide search and rescue, medical support, disaster relief; the Georgia State Defense Force is organized with a headquarters at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta. Each brigade and equivalent unit is commanded by a field grade officer.
The current chain of command for the State Defense Force at the state level is organized under three positions: The commander-in-chief, the adjutant general, the Georgia State Defense Force commander. Current eligibility to join the Georgia State Defense Force extends to men and women between the ages of 18 and 64 who: pass a background check, are U. S. citizens or legal residents, have a high school diploma or equivalent, meet height and weight standards that are "designed to ensure that GSDF personnel present minimum acceptable appearance when in uniform."Prior military experience is not required, although 40 percent of active members have prior service experience. The Georgia State Defense Force’s rich heritage dates back to England. Under the direction of General James Oglethorpe, Sergeants of the Guard trained future colonists in militia tactics; as settlers began arriving in Georgia around 1733, many became members of General James Oglethorpe’s militia and were called upon during the Battle of Bloody Marsh in 1742 to help repel the Spanish invasion of Georgia.
These militia forces joined General George Washington in the fight for American Independence. The volunteer militia remained in continuous service throughout the 19th centuries. During this time, the militia participated in Indian wars against the Creeks and Choctaws, with the outbreak of the American Civil War, Georgia responded with over 100 volunteer regiments and batteries; the portion that remained at home helped to defend Atlanta and Macon, shadowed by the Union advance in 1864. This volunteer commitment was second only in number to the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1917, following passage of the National Defense Act of 1916, the National Guard could be called into federal service; as a result, Georgia law organized the militia into three classes: the National Guard, the naval militia, the unorganized militia. It further created a separate Home Guard, or State Constabulary subject to military law. After World War I, the militia was called to put down labor unrest at factories and mills across the state.
In 1940, with the onset of World War II, Governor E. D. Rivers requested the American Legion to organize the Georgia State Defense Corps; the next year, in 1941, Colonel Ryburn Clay was appointed to head the State Defense Corps and it was activated and placed under the command of Brigadier General Omar Bradley, commanding officer at Ft. Benning, Georgia, its name was shortly changed to the State Defense Corps of Georgia and to the Georgia State Guard in 1942. During World War II, 35,000 volunteer members guarded war plants, critical communications facilities, utilities and transportation facilities. 8,000 served at any given time with about 10,000 left at the end of the war. They were trained to repel an invasion. Although not disbanded until 1951, the Georgia State Guard began its retirement in July 1946; the Georgia State Guard was re-authorized in 1973 to serve as a constabulary force, throughout the 1970s and 1980s was tasked to serve as a backup for state police forces. Legislation resulted in the first muster in 1985 when it was re-activated as the Georgia State Defense Force under the command of Brigadier General John Gillette.
The force was tasked to provide a cadre around a larger force to assume the vacated domestic missions of Georgia National Guard members called to federal duty. The current Georgia State Defense Force is authorized by the federal government under 32 USC 109, by the State of Georgia under Title 38 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, by the National Guard Bureau under NGR 10-4; the Georgia Department of Defense is composed of the State Defense Force, the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, all of whom serve under the direction of the adjutant general of Georgia. Recent operations include support to National Guard units during the Gulf War, participation in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, emergency aid to agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Emergency Management Agency, support to Georgia National Guard units and their families since 2001, activation during the 20
Old City Cemetery (Columbus, Georgia)
The Old City Cemetery known as Linwood Cemetery, is a 28.7-acre cemetery on what is now Linwood Boulevard, in Columbus, Georgia. It dates from 1828, it appears in surveyor Edward Lloyd Thomas's original plan for the city. The cemetery consists of rectangular family plots bordered by iron fences or walls made of brick or granite, accessed by a main east-west corridor and perpendicular lanes, it includes some displaying Egyptian Revival or Gothic styles. The cemetery was given the name "Linwood" in 1894 by city council resolution to honor Columbus author Caroline Lee Hentz whose works include Ernest Linwood, an 1856 book, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. According to its 1978 nomination, the majority of prominent Columbus persons are buried there, its burials include more than 200 Confederate Army soldiers representing every state in the Confederacy. Thomas's own son was an early burial, as he died and was buried in the cemetery in 1828 while Thomas was amidst his work surveying, but the grounds include earlier marked and unmarked graves of "'early traders, river people, Indians.'"
Dr. John Pemberton, formulator of Coca-Cola Gen. Henry Lewis Benning, namesake of Fort Benning Reverend Thomas Goulding Noble Leslie DeVotie, founder of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Ulysses Lewis, Columbus's first mayor brother-in-law of George Washington Official website Linwood Cemetery at Find a Grave Historic Linwood Cemetery est. 1828 at Columbus Consolidated Government Department of Public Works' Cemetery Division Cemetery Records Database at CCG Public Services Department Cemetery Records Dolores Autry Linwood Cemetery Collection at Columbus State University Archives
Battle of Columbus (1865)
The Battle of Columbus, was the last conflict in the Union campaign through Alabama and Georgia, known as Wilson's Raid, in the final phase of the American Civil War. Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson had been ordered to destroy the city of Columbus as a major Confederate manufacturing center, he exploited enemy confusion when troops from both sides crowded on to the same bridge in the dark, the garrison withheld its cannon fire. Next morning, Wilson took many prisoners. Several authorities claim Columbus should be classified as the last battle of the Civil War, while others point to a battle which occurred after the Confederacy was vanquished, the Battle of Palmito Ranch; the Battle of Columbus is known as the Battle of Girard, Alabama. After the Union victory in the Battle of Nashville, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas ordered Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson to march into the heart of the Deep South and destroy the major Confederate supply centers at Selma and Columbus, Georgia. Wilson left Gravelly Springs, Alabama, on March 22, 1865, heading for Selma, a major manufacturing and supply center.
The Battle of Selma was fought on April 2, 1865, against the skilled leadership of Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose men were hopelessly outnumbered by the invaders; the battle took place on the same day the Confederate capital of Richmond fell to the Army of the Potomac. Forrest managed to inflict heavy casualties on the attackers, but Wilson's raiders broke through the defenses and captured Selma by 7 p.m. that evening. Wilson's men looted the city before moving on. On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. Confederate General Joe Johnston's army was still intact, as were the armies in Alabama and Mississippi and in the Trans-Mississippi theater; because of the lack of communications, General Wilson was not aware of Lee's surrender. He continued his raids. On April 12, 1865, Wilson's men marched into the former Confederate capital of Montgomery, encountering token resistance from the Confederates. Wilson's next target was the manufacturing city of Columbus, the largest-surviving supply city in the South.
Columbus was second only to Richmond in providing the industrial support for the war, Richmond had been taken. Columbus was located on the Chattahoochee River, where there was a major naval construction facility. A new ironclad, the CSS Muscogee, had been completed, was docked at Columbus waiting to be launched. Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot in Washington on Good Friday, April 14, he died the next day, but Wilson had not yet learned of this; the Confederates in Columbus were well aware. Confederate Major General Howell Cobb had been placed in charge of whatever forces he could gather, he did his best to prepare to defend Columbus. Cobb had about 3,500 men in his forces, most of them Georgia and Alabama home guard units and civilian volunteers. On April 16, 1865, Columbus newspapers warned citizens to leave the town, since a Union attack was imminent; the public is hereby notified of the rapid approach of the enemy, but assured that the city of Columbus will be defended to the last. Judging from experience it is believed.
Notice is, given to all non-combatants to move away immediately. Cobb decided to defend the city on the western side of the Chattahoochee, in the town of Girard. There the Confederates used trenches and earthen forts, built earlier in the war. Now their completion became imperative; the main objective was to defend the two covered bridges. Cobb had the advantage of knowing that Wilson would have to concentrate on these two narrow locations in order to capture Columbus. Cobb wanted to keep the high ground in Girard out of Wilson's clutch, lest he have a convenient perch to bombard Columbus. In addition to preparing strong fortified positions on the high ground in Girard on the west side of the Chattahoochee, Cobb ordered the base of the bridges to be wrapped in cotton and doused with turpentine. In the event that the Confederates were unable to fend off Wilson's raiders, they could, as a last resort, burn the bridges to deny Wilson's troops easy access to Columbus; the bridges were designed by a former slave born in South Carolina.
Working with John Godwin part of his career, King was prominent in this area of Georgia as a bridge builder and construction manager before he purchased his freedom in 1846. King was considered the most respected bridge builder in the region. Between 1:30 and 2 p.m. on Easter, April 16, 1865, Wilson's raiders arrived at Girard, the fighting began. Wilson sent a detachment north of Columbus to West Point, Georgia, to cross the Chattahoochee River there. West Point was defended by the garrison at Fort Tyler; the Battle of West Point and the Battle of Columbus took place on the same day. At about 2 p.m. Union General Emory Upton's division launched an attack on the lower bridge. Meeting little resistance, they thought they would cross the bridge and take Columbus easily. Upton remarked, "Columbus is ours without a shot being fired." But this was a trap. Confederates removed the planks on the east side of the bridge to halt the Federals and allow the Confederates to burn the bridge filled with soldiers.
Recognizing the peril, Upton was forced to retreat. It seemed. Wilson turned his attention to the upper bridge; as the sun began to set, General Robert Toombs telegraphed Governor Joseph E. B
Columbus is a consolidated city-county located on the west central border of the U. S. state of Georgia. Located on the Chattahoochee River directly across from Phenix City, Columbus is the county seat of Muscogee County, with which it merged in 1970. Columbus is the third-largest city in the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 194,058 residents, with 303,811 in the Columbus metropolitan area; the metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus–Auburn–Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has a 2017 estimated population of 499,128. Columbus lies 100 miles southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch, it has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways. Founded in 1828 by an act of the Georgia Legislature, Columbus was situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River and on the last stretch of the Federal Road before entering Alabama; the city was named for Christopher Columbus, its founders influenced by the writings of Washington Irving. The plan for the city was drawn up by Dr. Edwin L. DeGraffenried, who placed the town on a bluff overlooking the river. Across the river to the west, where Phenix City, Alabama is now located, Creek Indians still lived until they were forcibly removed in 1836 by the federal government to make way for European-American settlers; the river served as Columbus's connection to the world enabling it to ship its commodity cotton crops from the plantations to the international cotton market via New Orleans and Liverpool, England.
The city's commercial importance increased in the 1850s with the arrival of the railroad. In addition, textile mills were developed along the river, bringing industry to an area reliant upon agriculture. By 1860, the city was one of the more important industrial centers of the South, earning it the nickname "the Lowell of the South," referring to an important textile mill town in Massachusetts; when the Civil War broke out in 1861, the industries of Columbus expanded their production. During the war, Columbus ranked second to Richmond in the manufacture of supplies for the Confederate army; the Eagle Manufacturing Company made textiles of various sorts but woolens for Confederate uniforms. The Columbus Iron Works manufactured cannons and machinery and Gray made firearms, Louis and Elias Haimon produced swords and bayonets. Smaller firms provided additional sundries; as the war turned negative, each faced exponentially growing struggled shortages of raw materials and skilled labor, as well as worsenting financial opportunities.
In addition to textiles, the city had an ironworks, a sword factory, a shipyard for the Confederate Navy. Unaware of Lee's surrender to Grant and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Confederates clashed in the Battle of Columbus, Georgia, on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1865, when a Union detachment of two cavalry divisions under Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson attacked the lightly-defended city and burned many of the industrial buildings. John Stith Pemberton, who developed Coca-Cola in Columbus, was wounded in this battle. Col. Charles Augustus Lafayette Lamar, owner of the last slave ship in America, was killed here. A historic marker has been erected in Columbus, it notes that this was the site of the "Last Land Battle in the War from 1861 to 1865." Reconstruction began immediately and prosperity followed. Factories such as the Eagle and Phenix Mills were revived and the industrialization of the town led to rapid growth; the Springer Opera House was built on 10th Street, attracting such notables as Irish writer Oscar Wilde.
The Springer is now the official State Theater of Georgia. By the time of the Spanish–American War, the city's modernization included the addition of trolleys extending to outlying neighborhoods such as Rose Hill and Lakebottom, a new water works. Mayor Lucius Chappell brought a training camp for soldiers to the area; this training camp named Camp Benning would grow into present-day Fort Benning, named for General Henry L. Benning, a native of the city. In the spring of 1866 the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus passed a resolution to set aside one day annually to memorialize the Confederate dead; the secretary of the association, Mrs. Charles J. Williams, was directed to write a letter inviting the ladies of every Southern state to join them in the observance; the letter was written in March 1866 and sent to representatives of all of the principal cities in the South, including Atlanta, Montgomery, Richmond, St. Louis, Alexandria and New Orleans; this was the beginning of the influential work by ladies' organizations to honor the war dead.
The date for the holiday was selected by Elizabeth "Lizzie" Rutherford Ellis. She chose April 26, the first anniversary of Confederate General Johnston's final surrender to Union General Sherman at Bennett Place, North Carolina. For many in the South, that act marked the official end of the Civil War. In
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. 12 percent of the opium latex is made up of the analgesic alkaloid morphine, processed chemically to produce heroin and other synthetic opioids for medicinal use and for illegal drug trade. The latex contains the related opiates codeine and thebaine, non-analgesic alkaloids such as papaverine and noscapine; the traditional, labor-intensive method of obtaining the latex is to scratch the immature seed pods by hand. The word "meconium" referred to related, weaker preparations made from other parts of the opium poppy or different species of poppies; the production methods have not changed since ancient times. Through selective breeding of the Papaver somniferum plant, the content of the phenanthrene alkaloids morphine, to a lesser extent thebaine has been increased. In modern times, much of the thebaine, which serves as the raw material for the synthesis for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other semisynthetic opiates, originates from extracting Papaver orientale or Papaver bracteatum.
For the illegal drug trade, the morphine is extracted from the opium latex, reducing the bulk weight by 88%. It is converted to heroin, two to four times as potent, increases the value by a similar factor; the reduced weight and bulk make it easier to smuggle. The Mediterranean region contains the earliest archeological evidence of human use. Evidence from ancient Greece indicates that opium was consumed in several ways, including inhalation of vapors, medical poultices, as a combination with hemlock for suicide; the Sumerian, Egyptian, Minoan, Roman and Arab Empires all made widespread use of opium, the most potent form of pain relief available, allowing ancient surgeons to perform prolonged surgical procedures. Opium is mentioned in the most important medical texts of the ancient world, including the Ebers Papyrus and the writings of Dioscorides and Avicenna. Widespread medical use of unprocessed opium continued through the American Civil War before giving way to morphine and its successors, which could be injected at a controlled dosage.
Opium has been collected since prehistoric times, since 3400 BCE. A common name for males in Afghanistan is "Redey", which in Pashto means "poppy"; this term may be derived from the Sanskrit words rddhi and hrdya, which mean "magical", "a type of medicinal plant", "heart-pleasing", respectively. The upper Asian belt of Afghanistan, northern India, Burma still account for the world's largest supply of opium. At least 17 finds of Papaver somniferum from Neolithic settlements have been reported throughout Switzerland and Spain, including the placement of large numbers of poppy seed capsules at a burial site, which have been carbon-14 dated to 4200 BCE. Numerous finds of P. somniferum or P. setigerum from Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have been reported. The first known cultivation of opium poppies was in Mesopotamia 3400 BCE, by Sumerians, who called the plant hul gil, the "joy plant". Tablets found at Nippur, a Sumerian spiritual center south of Baghdad, described the collection of poppy juice in the morning and its use in production of opium.
Cultivation continued in the Middle East by the Assyrians, who collected poppy juice in the morning after scoring the pods with an iron scoop. Opium production continued under the Egyptians. Opium was used with poison hemlock to put people and painlessly to death, but it was used in medicine. Spongia somnifera, sponges soaked in opium, were used during surgery; the Egyptians cultivated opium thebaicum in famous poppy fields around 1300 BCE. Opium was traded from Egypt by the Phoenicians and Minoans to destinations around the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece and Europe. By 1100 BCE, opium was cultivated on Cyprus, where surgical-quality knives were used to score the poppy pods, opium was cultivated and smoked. Opium was mentioned after the Persian conquest of Assyria and Babylonian lands in the 6th century BCE. From the earliest finds, opium has appeared to have ritual significance, anthropologists have speculated ancient priests may have used the drug as a proof of healing power. In Egypt, the use of opium was restricted to priests and warriors, its invention is credited to Thoth, it was said to have been given by Isis to Ra as treatment for a headache.
A figure of the Minoan "goddess of the narcotics", wearing a crown of three opium poppies, c. 1300 BCE, was recovered from the Sanctuary of Gazi, together with a simple smoking apparatus. The Greek gods Hypnos and Thanatos were depicted wreathed in poppies or holding them. Poppies frequently adorned statues of Apollo, Pluto, Aphrodite and Isis, symbolizing nocturnal oblivion; as the power of the Roman Empire declined, the lands to the south and east of the Mediterranean Sea became incorporated into the Islamic Empires. Some Muslims believe hadiths, such as in Sahih Bukhari, prohibits every intoxicating substance, though the use of intoxicants in medicine has been wi
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, Master Mason; the candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, entrusted with grips and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality part lecture; the three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, are administered by their own bodies; the basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are supervised and governed at the regional level by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient.
There is no worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry. Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a Supreme Being, that no women are admitted, that the discussion of religion and politics is banned. Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the jurisdictions which have removed some, or all, of these restrictions; the Masonic lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation. In addition to business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Lodge might adjourn for a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song; the bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies. Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice.
Some time in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason. In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords and grips peculiar to his new rank. Another ceremony is officers of the Lodge. In some jurisdictions Installed Master is valued as a separate rank, with its own secrets to distinguish its members. In other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the Lodge. Most Lodges have some sort of social calendar, allowing Masons and their partners to meet in a less ritualised environment. Coupled with these events is the obligation placed on every Mason to contribute to charity; this occurs at both Grand Lodge level. Masonic charities contribute to many fields, such as disaster relief; these private local Lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, a Freemason will have been initiated into one of these. There exist specialist Lodges where Masons meet to celebrate events, such as sport or Masonic research.
The rank of Master Mason entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the Craft, or "Blue Lodge" degrees described here, but having a similar format to their meetings. There is little consistency in Freemasonry; because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent, each sets its own procedures. The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The officers of the Lodge are appointed annually; every Masonic Lodge has two Wardens, a secretary and a treasurer. There is a Tyler, or outer guard, always present outside the door of a working Lodge. Other offices vary between jurisdictions; each Masonic Lodge exists and operates according to a set of ancient principles known as the Landmarks of Freemasonry. These principles have thus far eluded any universally accepted definition. Candidates for Freemasonry will have met most active members of the Lodge they are joining before they are initiated.
The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will have been introduced by a friend at a Lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the Lodge. In modern times, interested people track down a local Lodge through the Internet; the onus is on candidates to ask to join. Once the initial inquiry is made, an interview follows to determine the candidate's suitability. If the candidate decides to proceed from here, the Lodge ballots on the application before he can be accepted; the absolute minimum requirement of any body of Freemasons is that the candidate must be free, considered to be of good character. There is an age requirement, varying between Grand Lodges, capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge; the underlying assumption is that the candidate should
Fulton County, Georgia
Fulton County is a county in the north-central portion of the U. S. state of Georgia. As of 2017 estimates, the population was 1,041,423, making it the state's most populous county and its only one with over 1 million inhabitants, its county seat is the state capital. 90% of the City of Atlanta is located within Fulton County. Fulton County is the principal county of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Fulton County is part of GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Fulton County was created in 1853 from the western half of DeKalb County, it was named in honor of Hamilton Fulton, a railroad official who acted as surveyor for the Western and Atlantic Railroad and as chief engineer of the state. After surveying the area, now Fulton County, Fulton convinced state officials that a railroad, rather than a canal, should be constructed to connect Milledgeville the state capital, to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Building the railroad was a precursor of Fulton County's prominence as a major transportation center. Organized as settlement increased in the Piedmont section of upland Georgia, Fulton County grew after the American Civil War as Atlanta was rebuilt, becoming a center of railroad shipping and business.
After the war, there was considerable violence against freedmen in the county. During the post-Reconstruction period and the number of lynchings of blacks increased in the late 19th century, as whites exercised terrorism to re-establish and maintain white supremacy. Whites lynched 35 African Americans here from 1877-1950; this was the highest total in the state. With a total of 589, Georgia was second to Mississippi in its total number of lynchings in this period. In addition to individual lynchings, during the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906, whites killed at least 25 African Americans. Two white persons died during the riot; the violence affected black residential and business development in the city afterward, some of, maintained in county development. The Georgia legislature completed disenfranchisement of African Americans in 1908 constitutional amendments that raised barriers to voter registration and voting, excluding them from the political system. At the beginning of 1932, as an austerity measure to save money during the Great Depression, Fulton County annexed Milton County to the north and Campbell County to the southwest, to centralize administration.
That resulted in the current long shape of the county along 80 miles of the Chattahoochee River. On May 9 of that year, neighboring Cobb County ceded the city of Roswell and lands lying east of Willeo Creek to Fulton County so that it would be more contiguous with the lands ceded from Milton County. In the second half of the 20th century and Fulton county became the location of numerous national and international headquarters for leading companies, attracting skilled employees from around the country; this led to the county becoming more cosmopolitan and diverse. Fulton County is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners, whose members are elected from single-member districts, they serve concurrent four-year terms. The most recent election was held in November 2010; the county has a county manager system of government, in which day-to-day operation of the county is handled by a manager appointed by the board. The chairman of the Board of Commissioners is elected at-large for the county-wide position.
The vice chairman is elected by peers on a yearly basis. Fulton County's budget of $1.2 billion funds an array of resident services. With 34 branches, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is one of the largest library systems in Georgia. Human services programs include one of the strongest senior center networks in metro Atlanta, including four multi-purpose senior facilities; the county provides funding to nonprofits with FRESH and Human Services grants. Atlanta is the largest city in Fulton County, occupying the county's narrow center section and thus geographically dividing the county's northern and southern portions. Atlanta's last major annexation in 1952 brought over 118 square miles into the city, including the affluent suburb of Buckhead; the movement to create a city of Sandy Springs, launched in the early 1970s and reaching fruition in 2005, was an effort to prevent additional annexations by the city of Atlanta, to wrest local control from the county commission. Fulton County is one of the most reliably Democratic counties in the entire nation.
It has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1876, except that of 1928 and again in 1972, when George McGovern could not win a single county in Georgia. The demographic character of the Democratic Party has changed. In Fulton County, Democrats are composed of liberal urbanites of various ethnicities. Geographically remote from each other, the northern and southern sections of the county have grown at odds over issues related to taxes and distribution of services. Residents of the affluent areas of North Fulton have complained that the Fulton County Board of Commissioners has ignored their needs, taking taxes collected in North Fulton, spending them on programs and services in less wealthy South Fulton. In 2005, responding to pressure from North Fulton, the Georgia General Assembly directed Fulton County, alone among all the counties in the state, to limit the expenditure of funds to the geographic region of the county where they were collected; the Fulton