Rhea County Courthouse
The Rhea County Courthouse is a historic county courthouse in the center of Dayton, the county seat of Rhea County, Tennessee. Built in 1891, it is famous as the scene of the Scopes Trial of July 1925, in which teacher John T. Scopes faced charges for including Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in his public school lesson; the trial became a clash of titans between the lawyers William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense, epitomizes the tension between fundamentalism and modernism in a wide range of aspects of American society. The courthouse, now housing a museum devoted to the trial, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976; the Rhea County Courthouse stands prominently in the center of Dayton, on the courthouse square bounded by 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Market Street, Court Street. It is a three-story brick building with Italianate features, it has a broad hip roof with a low hip-roofed tower at one corner of the main facade, a taller square tower with an open octagonal belfry above a clock on the other.
Some windows are set in round-arch openings. The building interior has many original features, including the main courtroom on the second floor, where the Scopes Monkey Trial took place; the building was constructed in 1890-91, after Dayton was named the county seat, replacing Washington. It was designed by W. Chamberlain and Co. architects from Knoxville and was built by contractors from Chattanooga. In July 1925 the courthouse was the scene of one of the widely reported trials of the 1920s, the Scopes Trial. Cooked up as a publicity stunt by locals after passage of the state's Butler Act banned the teaching of biological evolution in public schools, science teacher John T. Scopes was arrested and charged with violating the act; the state was represented by the renowned orator and fundamentalist Christian icon William Jennings Bryan, Scopes was defended by an ACLU-funded team headed by noted criminal defense lawyer Clarence Darrow. Although Scopes was convicted in a sensationalized trial, the culture clash between legal principles as well as fundamentalism and modernism left an enduring mark on American society.
The defense called Bryan to the stand to defend fundamentalism, exposed the underlying ignorance of his views. In subsequent years, many states that had enacted similar laws repealed them. A $1-million project which restored the second-floor courtroom to the way it looked during the Scopes trial was completed in 1979; the Rhea County Museum called the Scopes Trial Museum, is located in the courthouse basement and contains such memorabilia as the microphone used to broadcast the trial, trial records, an audiovisual history of the trial. Every July local people re-enact key moments of the trial in the courtroom. In front of the courthouse stands a commemorative plaque erected by the Tennessee Historical Commission: 2B 23 THE SCOPES TRIAL Here, from July 10 to 21, 1925 JohnThomas Scopes, a County High School teacher, was tried for teaching that a man descended from a lower order of animals in violation of a passed state law. William Jennings Bryan assisted the prosecution. Scopes was convicted; the Rhea County Courthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1976.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. On October 1, 2005, a statue of William Jennings Bryan was dedicated on the courthouse lawn, funded by a donation from nearby Bryan College; the statute was placed to commemorate the school's 75th anniversary. On July 14, 2017, a statue of Clarence Darrow was unveiled near Bryant's statue, funded by a donation from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. List of National Historic Landmarks in Tennessee National Register of Historic Places listings in Rhea County, Tennessee National Historic Landmark nomination file on the Rhea County Courthouse Rhea County Attractions: Rhea County Courthouse and Rhea County Museum Scopes Trial Museum - TN History for Kids
Watts Bar Nuclear Plant
The Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is a Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear reactor pair used for electric power generation. It is located on a 1,770-acre site in Rhea County, near Spring City, between the cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Watts Bar supplies enough electricity for about 1,200,000 households in the Tennessee Valley; the plant, construction of which began in 1973, has two Westinghouse pressurized water reactor units: Unit 1, completed in 1996, Unit 2, completed in 2015. Unit 1 has a winter net dependable generating capacity of 1,167 megawatts. Unit 2 has a capacity of 1,165 megawatts. Both units are the newest operating civilian reactors to come online in the United States, Unit 2 is the first and only new reactor to enter service in the 21st century; the construction began on 23 January 1973, suffered from many delays. After construction was halted on both units in 1985, construction resumed on Unit 1 in 1992. First criticality was achieved on 1 January 1996 and commercial operation began on May 5, 1996.
Unit 2 was 80% complete when construction on both units was stopped in 1985 due in part to a projected decrease in power demand. In 2007, the Tennessee Valley Authority Board approved completion of Unit 2 on August 1, construction resumed on October 15; the project was expected to cost $2.5 billion, employ around 2,300 contractor workers. Once finished, it was expected to employ 250 people in permanent jobs; the final cost of the plant is estimated at $6.1 billion. A year after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued 9 orders to improve safety at domestic plants. Two applied to Watts Bar Unit 2 and required design modifications: "Mitigation Strategies Order" and "Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation Order". In February 2012, TVA said the design modifications to Watts Bar 2 were responsible for the project running over budget and behind schedule; the second unit cost a total of $4.7 billion bringing the total cost of the plant to more than $12 billion.
TVA declared construction complete in August 2015 and requested that NRC staff proceed with the final licensing review. On December 15, 2015, TVA announced that the reactor was loaded with fuel and ready for criticality and power ascension tests. In March 2016, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission described the project as a "chilled work environment," where employees are reluctant to raise safety concerns for fear of retribution. On May 23, 2016, initial criticality was achieved; as of August 31, 2016, a transformer fire had delayed the start of commercial operation past the late summer goal. Commercial operation started in October 2016, once the affected transformer was replaced, operators completed the inspection on the switchyard affected equipment and the final full power testing was completed. On October 19, 2016 the Watts Bar 2 was the first United States reactor to enter commercial operation since 1996. Due to failures in its condenser, TVA took it offline on March 23, 2017; the condenser, installed during the original construction phase of the plant in the 1970s, suffered a structural failure in one of its sections.
On August 1, 2017 the unit was restarted after four months of repairs to the condenser. It will be the last Generation II reactor to be completed in the US; the NRC operating license for Watts Bar was modified in September 2002 to allow TVA to irradiate tritium-producing burnable absorber rods at Watts Bar to produce tritium for the U. S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration; the Watts Bar license amendment permits TVA to irradiate up to 2,000 tritium-producing rods in the Watts Bar reactor. TVA began irradiating tritium-producing rods at Watts Bar Unit 1 in the fall of 2003. TVA removed these rods from the reactor in the spring of 2005. DOE shipped them to its tritium-extraction facility at Savannah River Site in South Carolina. DOE reimburses TVA for the cost of providing the irradiation services, pays TVA a fee for each tritium-producing rod, irradiated; as the tritium is used for military purposes, Watts Bar unit 1 is fuelled by uranium which does not have peaceful only use non-proliferation restrictions as is normal for commercial reactors.
The NRC defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles, concerned with exposure to, inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles, concerned with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity. The 2010 U. S. population within 10 miles of Watts Bar was 18,452, an increase of 4.1 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U. S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U. S. population within 50 miles was 1,186,648, an increase of 12.8 percent since 2000. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Watts Bar was 1 in 27,778, according to an NRC study published in August 2010; the 2018 Southern Appalachian earthquake's epicenter was located two miles east of the facility. The TVA reported that their facilities are designed to withstand seismic events and were not impacted by the earthquake, but personnel would conduct further inspections as a precaution.
Watts Bar Dam Watts Bar Steam Plant List of the largest nuclear power stations in the United States List of power station
Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, Missouri to the northwest; the Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017; the state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians. What is now Tennessee was part of North Carolina, part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.
Occupied by Union forces from 1862, it was the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war. Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state besides Virginia, more soldiers for the Union Army than the rest of the Confederacy combined. Beginning during Reconstruction, it had competitive party politics, but a Democratic takeover in the late 1880s resulted in passage of disenfranchisement laws that excluded most blacks and many poor whites from voting; this reduced competition in politics in the state until after passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-20th century. In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided by massive federal investment in the Tennessee Valley Authority and, in the early 1940s, the city of Oak Ridge; this city was established to house the Manhattan Project's uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world's first atomic bombs, two of which were dropped on Imperial Japan near the end of World War II.
Tennessee's major industries include agriculture and tourism. Poultry and cattle are the state's primary agricultural products, major manufacturing exports include chemicals, transportation equipment, electrical equipment; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation's most visited national park, is headquartered in the eastern part of the state, a section of the Appalachian Trail follows the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Other major tourist attractions include the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga; the earliest variant of the name that became Tennessee was recorded by Captain Juan Pardo, the Spanish explorer, when he and his men passed through an American Indian village named "Tanasqui" in 1567 while traveling inland from South Carolina. In the early 18th century, British traders encountered a Cherokee town named Tanasi in present-day Monroe County, Tennessee; the town was located on a river of the same name, appears on maps as early as 1725. It is not known whether this was the same town as the one encountered by Juan Pardo, although recent research suggests that Pardo's "Tanasqui" was located at the confluence of the Pigeon River and the French Broad River, near modern Newport.
The meaning and origin of the word are uncertain. Some accounts suggest, it has been said to mean "meeting place", "winding river", or "river of the great bend". According to ethnographer James Mooney, the name "can not be analyzed" and its meaning is lost; the modern spelling, Tennessee, is attributed to James Glen, the governor of South Carolina, who used this spelling in his official correspondence during the 1750s. The spelling was popularized by the publication of Henry Timberlake's "Draught of the Cherokee Country" in 1765. In 1788, North Carolina created "Tennessee County", the third county to be established in what is now Middle Tennessee; when a constitutional convention met in 1796 to organize a new state out of the Southwest Territory, it adopted "Tennessee" as the name of the state. Tennessee is known as The Volunteer State, a nickname some claimed was earned during the War of 1812 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee during the Battle of New Orleans.
Other sources differ on the origin of the state nickname. This explanation is more because President Polk's call for 2,600 nationwide volunteers at the beginning of the Mexican–American War resulted in 30,000 volunteers from Tennessee alone in response to the death of Davy Crockett and appeals by former Tennessee Governor and Texas politician, Sam Houston. Tennessee borders eight other states: Virginia to the north. Tennessee is tied with Missouri as the state bordering the most other states; the state is trisected by the Tennessee River. The highest point in the state is Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet (
John Rhea was an American soldier and politician of the early 19th century who represented Tennessee in the United States House of Representatives. Rhea County and Rheatown, a community and former city in Greene County, Tennessee is named for him. Rhea was born in the parish of County Londonderry, Ireland, his family immigrated to Pennsylvania. His father, Rev. Joseph Rhea, a Presbyterian minister, moved the family to Piney Creek, Maryland in 1771, they moving again in 1778 to. Rhea completed his preparatory studies in 1780, entered Princeton College, he served in the Patriot militia that defeated a loyalist force at the Battle of Kings Mountain in October 1780. Rhea became clerk of the Sullivan County Court in the proposed State of Franklin, subsequently in North Carolina, from 1785 to 1790, he was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons, served was a delegate to the convention that ratified the Federal Constitution in 1789. He studied law and was admitted to bar in 1789. In 1796, he was a delegate to the constitutional convention of Tennessee and the attorney general of Greene County.
At the same time he was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for two years. Rhea was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Eighth Congress and the five succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1803 until March 3, 1815. During the Tenth through the Thirteenth Congress, he was the chairman of the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads, he was a member of the Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary War Claims during the Fifteenth Congress through the Seventeenth Congress. He was appointed United States commissioner to treat with the Choctaw Nation in 1816. Afterward, he again became a U. S. Representative, serving from March 4, 1817 until March 3, 1823 in the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Congresses, he was connected with higher education in Tennessee, serving as one of the founders of Blount College, which became the University of Tennessee. He retired from active pursuits and resided on Rhea plantation near Blountville, Sullivan County, where he died on May 27, 1832, he was interred in Blountville Cemetery.
Rhea County, Tennessee was named in his honor. United States Congress. "John Rhea". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. John Rhea at Find a Grave
Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties; as of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 33,128, with the total metropolitan area having a population of 142,227. Dalton is located just off Interstate 75 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwest Georgia and is the second largest city in northwest Georgia, after Rome. Dalton is home to many of the nation's floor-covering manufacturers those producing carpet and vinyl flooring. Like most towns that predate the Civil War and the surrounding area saw skirmishes during the conflict, it is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and hosts a variety of events. Dalton is located at. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles, of which 19.8 square miles is land and 0.04 square miles is water.
According to the 2010 census Dalton had a population of 33,128 living in 11,337 households. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 42.4% non-Hispanic white, 22.6% Hispanic, 6.4% black, 0.6% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 22.2% Hispanic reporting some other race and 3.2% reporting two or more races. 48.0% of the population was Hispanic or Latino. According to the census estimate of 2006, there were 88,604 people, 10,689 households, 8,511 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,408.3 people per square mile. There were 11,229 housing units at an average density of 516.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 20% White, 22% Black, 1% Native American, 1% Asian, 1% Pacific Islander, 21.15% from other races, 6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50% of the population. There were 9,689 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.8% were non-families.
27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.43. In the city, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $34,312, the median income for a family was $41,111. Males had a median income of $28,158 versus $23,701 for females; the per capita income for the city was $20,575. About 11.9% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over. After the lay-offs companies like Mohawk Industries paid workers with twenty years seniority a "small severance package." Unlike other developed countries, the United States lags behind "in providing support for families who lose their jobs."By 2010 48% of Dalton's 33,000 residents were Latino.
During the late 1980s economic boom – when demand for carpet mill laborers reached an all-time high – the 320 carpet mills aggressively recruited Latino workers. As of 2012, Hispanics constituted the plurality of students at Dalton High School. Dalton has a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers, mild to cool winters, straddles the border between USDA Hardiness Zones 7B and 8A; the monthly daily mean temperature ranges from 40.1 °F in January to 79.0 °F in July. Creative Arts GuildThe Creative Arts Guild is the oldest multi-disciplinary community arts center in the state of Georgia. Founded in 1963 by a group of civic leaders, the Creative Arts Guild began as a community grass-roots movement housed in the Old Firehouse on Pentz Street in historic Downtown Dalton; the Guild began offering art, music and theatre classes as well as gallery shows and exhibitions. As programming and class attendance grew, plans for a larger facility were developed. In 1981, the Guild moved to its permanent home at 520 West Waugh Street.
The vision of that small group of patrons has grown into an organization that now houses four educational departments as well as the Arts in Education outreach programs, gallery exhibits and dance concerts and recitals and acts as a hub of culture for North West Georgia and South East Tennessee. Artistic Civic TheatreArtistic Civic Theatre has served the Northwest Georgia community for twenty-four years, has reached thousands of citizens through major musical and drama productions, ACT2, student productions in cooperation with schools in Dalton and Murray counties, touring productions of original adaptations of classic fairy tales, theatrical arts classes co-sponsored with the Creative Arts Guild, the annual Youth Theatre Camp, the Studio Cabaret live music series. ACT's programs are funded through individual and family memberships, as well as corporate sponsorships and donations. Consider becoming a member or corporate sponsor and help us continue to provide theatrical arts opportuniti
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
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