Posted on January 2, 2016
Way back when, in late 1787 and early 1788, lawmakers in the various colonies/states were deciding whether or not they could live with the government outlined in the brand-new United States Constitution.
Georgians decided VERY early in 1788 – on January 2 of that year, in fact! So Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the Constitution.
It had been the last of the 13 original states to be established. It was named after King George II of Great Britain—the grandfather of the King George the Americans fought against during the Revolutionary War!
Years later, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the U.S., joining instead the Confederate States of America, and it was actually the very last state of the Confederacy to rejoin the Union!
What makes Georgia special?
- One thing I have noticed about Georgia, over and over again, is that it can be confusing for Americans to have a nation in the world with the same name as a U.S. state. The nation of Georgia is located between Europe and Asia, near the Black Sea. Georgia is the only U.S. state to share its name with a country!
Here is an example of how confusing this can be: there was a very sad occurrence during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when a member of the Georgian team died in a practice run on the luge during the day of the opening ceremony. When I told some kids about the tragedy, several of them kept thinking he was from Georgia-the-U.S.-state and were confused—kind of like, “Wait, does each state have its own team?”
- I loved hiking up the back side of Stone Mountain, a quartz monzonite dome 25 miles away from Atlanta, Georgia.
First, in order to beat the heat (we thought), we left before sunrise, but it was already so warm, when the sun did come up, the grass began to gently steam as the dew evaporated away. We seemed to be walking through warm clouds or cool smoke or something—quite an unusual experience!Second, there was ALL this old graffiti carved into the huge swaths of rock we hiked over. Actually, it didn't all look all that old -- "look! That one's from '92!" But then I realized...Oh! 1892, not 1992!
Most of the old graffiti was covered with plexiglass so it didn't get worn away. Also, there were ALL these signs telling people that adding their own “John Henry” to the mountain was against the law and very highly punishable!
Most of the old graffiti was covered with plexiglass so it didn't get worn away. There were ALL these signs telling people that adding their own “John Henry” to the mountain was against the law and very highly punishable!
Third, we passed between a chewing gum cliff and a chewing gum boulder. This colorful corridor of rock was created by thousands of wads of chewing gum that had been applied all over the rock surfaces—all the way down to the ground and all the way up to arm's reach above my husband's head.
Fourth, of course we were so happy to reach the top. There we had a great view of the surrounding area and an unusual view of the figures carved into Stone Mountain.
- Okefenokee Swamp was my other favorite sight in Georgia. The swamp, the view from above of so many “lanes” of boat-worthy water in between the trees, and of course, the alligators, the alligators, the alligators!
- Georgia is #1 at three Ps: peanuts, peaches, and pecans. It's also host for the world's largest poultry convention in the world... And poultry, as you can see, also starts with a P!
- Georgia is #1 at something else as well: it is the largest state in the U.S. – east of the Mississippi!
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