|Issue 10.02 | Tuesday, April 6, 2010 | Forward to your friends!|
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Ill., April 6, 2010 -- There are five things about the history of Gwinnett
County that you might not have known! Here they are.
Civil War - - The county had barely a direct role in the Civil War,
save for an incursion by federal cavalry known as Kennar Gerrard's raid
brushing Lawrenceville in conjunction with the Battle of Atlanta in the
summer of 1864. Gwinnett's lack of a railway -- the railroads were systematically
destroyed by General Sherman's troops elsewhere -- surely explains why
the Union command largely ignored the county. But 502 county residents
died in the war-related military service. And what rarely gains airing
is the rate of desertions among Confederate soldiers in the lower ranks
who listed Gwinnett County -- along with a phalanx of other counties to
the west and northwest -- as their home.
The New Deal - - Governor Eugene Talmadge (1933-1937 and 1941-1943) vilified the Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, chastising the federal government as unduly interfering in state and local affairs. In 1936 Talmadge sought to dislodge United States Senator Richard B. Russell, staunch ally of President Roosevelt. Georgia voters overwhelming cast their ballots for Russell in a heated Democratic primary (with 66 percent voting).
Gwinnett's electorate supported Russell decisively (59 percent). Within the county we find several instances of the New Deal's influence. A public library opened in 1936 and employed two librarians, one of whose salary was paid for with federal funds. It operated weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m.
advantage of the newly created Soil Conservation Service, another New
Deal program favored by Senator Russell, the county eagerly participated
in the Upper Ocmulgee River Soil and Water Conservation District. The
federal Flood Control Act of 1944, with Senator Russell again instrumental,
eventually resulted in a monumental public works project, Lake Lanier,
culminating in a 38,000-acre recreational center bordering the county's
northwest corner. Some in Gwinnett County wished to name it Lake Russell,
but the innately modest senator demurred. And it seems likely that when
the municipal authorities in Buford constructed a water plant in 1934,
the first of its kind in the county, that the federal government provided
Near the end of April a cross burning took place in Lawrenceville, accompanied by the occupants of the marauding automobiles firing weapons in the African American neighborhood. The Lawrenceville News-Herald graphically described what happened next: "Police said aroused Negro residents rushed out and put out the blazing cross and then armed themselves with firearms, baseball bats and axes to await a possible return of the two automobiles. Further violence was averted, however, because the cars did not go back into the Negro section."
police charged ten white men, eight of whom entered pleas of guilty, with
disorderly conduct and illegal possession of firearms. The judge imposed
the choice of fines or jail sentences, stating: "You have embarrassed
the City of Lawrenceville by your conduct." An admonishing editorial
in the News Herald emphatically rebuked the marauders. No expressions
surfaced, at least in print, criticizing the African Americans who had
taken up arms in their own self defense."
Two referendums, one in November of 1964 and another in June of 1965, were approved by the voters of Gwinnett. The first entailed a state constitutional amendment enabling the five metropolitan counties to operate a public transportation system. The second required a vote to officially establish MARTA. Voters in Cobb County rejected the prospect of MARTA at this early juncture. In two further referendums, one in 1971 and a second in 1989, the electorate in Gwinnett County rejected the prospect of rail transit in the county. In the referendum 1971, the proportion of voters opposing MARTA was 79 percent. And in 1989, the proportion of votes cast against mass transit was 70 percent.
Chinese-American novelist writes about the county - - Ha Jin, the
renowned Chinese-American novelist, recently invoked Gwinnett County as
one of the settings for his acclaimed novel entitled A Free Life (Pantheon
Books, 2007). His fictional Wu family resides in Lilburn. Fact of the
matter is that Lilburn was one of two communities within the county as
of 2000 whose Asian-born residents exceeded 1,000 (1,466), increasing
four times since 1990. Ha Jin is currently a professor of English at Boston
University, but previously taught at Emory University.
APRIL 6, 2010 -- There's something that has been bugging me for a while, and I want to see if you have noticed it.
Have you seen the new ornamentation on many elected and public officials and bureaucrats? It's nothing that they say, nor does it necessarily espouse their real position on any matter. And because many of them are wearing it on their lapels, it has come to mean virtually nothing.
I'm talking about the tiny American flag lapel pins you see so often these days. It appears to me that they are worn by people in both political parties.
These people seem to be saying, "Look at me. I'm wearing the American flag. I am showing patriotism. Therefore, I deserve your attention and vote."
If anyone thinks for a moment that intelligent people are going to vote for them simply because they can afford to buy a tiny American Flag lapel pin, they certainly are not intelligent enough to represent me or anyone else.
Yes, I understand where this came from. Most of it stems in the aftermath of the 9-11 bombings, where people left and right were flying the flag and defending the American way.
Granted, there's nothing wrong with that. But the wearing of the flag on lapels seems to have progressed well beyond that immediate patriotism, and has now moved to another level of super patriot. Again, there's nothing wrong with that. But to wear it trying to attract voters of all colors is uninformed, if not downright unreasonable.
We want to elect the best candidates to office who can think, who can analyze, and when in the final throes of writing legislation, will know when to trade and compromise to get the best wording on legislation possible.
We do not want to elect zombies of either party to march to the step of their individual party, and simply vote the way people tell them. Many of those trying to impress us with their lapel pins would fall in this category, we are afraid. That's why we would not support them.
* * * * *
As long as we're talking about the American flag, let me extend this thought. In our view of being a good citizen, we should savor the flag and defend it. We should salute it when it passes by, and we should honor it in every way possible.
One way to honor it is to keep it unsullied. That means to us to keep it clean and refreshed. That does not mean that we should wear the colors of the flag of the United States as a garment of clothing, such as a shirt, or undergarments next to our skin.
OK, we'll accept the American flag on a necktie or scarf. But these garments are not routinely worn against the body.
What really galls us is to see the flag worn as running shorts, or t-shirts, or even golf shirts or regular shirts, or skirts. That's a distasteful and unpatriotic use that tarnishes and defames our nation's colors.
There. I got that off my mind, too. I feel better. Thank goodness for the First Amendment. We welcome you to expand your First Amendment rights, and tell us what bugs you.
The public spiritedness of our underwriter allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's featured underwriter is Gwinnett Community Bank of Duluth, member, FDIC. Tom Martin is the CEO of this bank, which has its main office in Duluth on Buford Highway, near the intersection of Rogers Bridge and Old Peachtree Road. The Duluth office number is 770-476-2775. There is also a Suwanee location at 3463 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwanee. The phone number for the Suwanee branch is 770-497-5252. Gwinnett Community Bank also has a third branch at 2715 Hamilton Mill Road in Buford (770 271 2715.) The Web site is http://www.gwinnettcommunitybank.com.
Editor, the Forum:
Congratulations on GwinnettForum's anniversary! Here's wishing US many more.
Hey, Steve Rausch: in the first sentence of Elliott's response to you, he "quotes" his hero, the late Ralph McGill, former editor of the Atlanta Constitution, when he acknowledges "You may be right!" Elliott told me years ago this was a response Ralph used often in replying to his critics. How could you further argue with a concession like that: he might be right too.
What I like most about Elliott through the years is that I haven't changed him, nor he I. I guess you realize therein lies the tactic. I'm reminded of a line from "Private Parts" when the MSNBC executive questioned why so many people hated Howard Stern yet continued to tune his program in. The answer was "They want to hear what he has to say next." Viva the ratings.
Wants equal exposure for potential candidates this year
Editor, the Forum:
As the upcoming elections are going to be very interesting with many new faces, I feel it would be more appropriate if all the candidates were allowed equal exposure. It was mentioned that GwinnettForum would endorse candidates that "we" felt were appropriate. Who is "we" when this Forum is concerned? What qualifications do "we" have to make such public endorsements? I mean some qualification other than just regular freedom of speech.
I am not trying to be overly critical but just wish to be fair. I know how difficult that is to do as we each have our own standards of fair.
Congratulations on beginning the 10th year for GwinnettForum
Editor, the Forum:
Congratulations to you for this 10 year accomplishment! I have found following The Gwinnett Forum for near 10 years in this endeavor very interesting, and informative!
Loves idea of GwinnettForum interviewing candidates
Editor, the Forum:
Love the idea of the GwinnettForum interviewing candidates! However, I'd like to see a fair process in your evaluation. Use a "fair and balanced" interview process, print the questions and all candidates' answers. Let us see how you derived your recommendations. This would allow us to read the responses ourselves and come to our own conclusion, which may be different than the Forum's. In doing so you would greatly benefit your readers!
Upset at local newspaper customer service department
Editor, the Forum:
Let all of us realize a change I found out about. Considering that the Atlanta Journal and Constitution prides itself on 'being for the people', now I learn that their customer service department at local phone number 404-522-4141 took me to the......Philippines!
Well, with sooooo many capable and willing workers available right here in Atlanta that need jobs, I simply can no longer support the AJC!! So, I canceled my subscription! (I am really going to miss their sports section!)
Anyway, I feel better venting and so hope the AJC will lead the way in bringing back jobs to the USA. Blessings and thankful to be a U.S.A. Citizen who loves reading newspapers!
The Gwinnett Braves open the 2010 campaign on Thursday, April 8, vs. Charlotte at 7:05 p.m. It marks the first time the club will open the season at home in Coolray Field.
The Gwinnett Braves set their roster for the team's second season in Gwinnett County, revealing an accomplished list of players that will take to Coolray Field in 2010. The roster features six players from the Atlanta Braves' 40-man roster and the organization's top overall minor league prospect, Freddie Freeman. The group at Triple-A will also include Baseball America's No. 5 organizational prospect in closer Craig Kimbrel and 2009 International League home run champ Mitch Jones.
Returning this year are 2009 G-Braves award-winners Wes Timmons (team most valuable player), Barbaro Canizares (most competitive) and Vladimir Nunez (outstanding pitcher). Nunez will open the season on the 15-day disabled list for Gwinnett.
Gwinnett Tech plans annual Global Perspective Bash April 8
party with worldwide flair on April 8 at Gwinnett Technical College, where
the public is invited to join faculty, staff and students at the annual
Global Perspective Bash to celebrate the college's global diversity. The
event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Building 700 on
the Gwinnett Tech campus, located at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville.
Group plans 5-K road race at Tribble Mill April 24
A group of 13 congregations of The Latter Day Saints Church is partnering with other community organizations and hosting the Run from Hunger, a 5K family fun run/walk and food drive on Saturday, April 24 at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville. The event will kick-off with a one-mile kid's fun run at 8 a.m., and the 5K run/walk will start at 8:30 a.m.
Prior to the race, local church units will also hold community food drives. In lieu of an entry fee, individual participants are asked to donate 10 cans of non-perishable food items and families are asked to donate 40 cans. Approximately 600 participants are expected for the event. All food collected will be given to local food banks for distribution directly to families in our communities who need it most.
A Berkmar High graduate is one of two winners of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a national award recognizing outstanding juniors who are planning careers in government or other public service. Yasmin Yonis of Lawrenceville is pursuing bachelor's degrees in international affairs and journalism (newspapers). The scholarships, worth up to $30,000 in graduate study, are administered through the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, which was created in 1975 by the U.S. Congress.
Through UGA's Honors in Washington Program, Yonis interned at Voice of America, a multimedia international public broadcasting agency in Washington, D.C. this past summer. She has participated in public policy research addressing African women's empowerment through UGA's Carl Vinson Institute of Government Fellows Program and through UGA's Roosevelt Institution Scholars Program.
Yonis currently serves as opinions editor of The Red and Black student newspaper. Born in Somalia, she and her family came to the U.S. when she was three as refugees from the civil war. Yonis will participate as a law fellow-one of only 10 selected nationally-in the University of California's 2010 Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute.
After graduating from UGA, Yonis would like to pursue a master's degree in public affairs and a law degree, focusing on a career in human rights law and policy in the U.S. and African nations, including her homeland.
City of Lilburn declared Tree City USA for third time
The City of Lilburn was recently recognized by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry. It is the third year Lilburn has earned this national designation.
has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community. Tree City
USA communities must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance,
a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance
First played in 1934, the Masters Tournament is one of golf's four "major" events, alongside the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship. The tournament is staged every April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta.
The Augusta National Golf Club dates back to 1931, the height of the Great Depression, when two men joined resources to create the club. One of the club's founders was the outstanding amateur and Atlanta native Bobby Jones, winner of 13 major championships between 1923 and 1930. Less prominent than Jones but no less important to the success of the club and tournament was New York financier Clifford Roberts, who had befriended Jones in the mid-1920s. Whereas Jones brought the venture credibility and publicity, Roberts brought it business acumen.
In the midst of the depression, Roberts skillfully sold the concept of a national golf club to a handful of investors and raised the capital necessary to purchase land and begin construction of the course. The famous golf course architect Alister Mackenzie worked with Jones on designing the Augusta National course.
They discovered Fruitland, the abandoned 365-acre plant nursery near Augusta, where, among other things, peaches were grown by nurseryman Prosper Berckmans. Because of the depressed economy, the land, originally a plantation, was available at bottom-dollar price. Jones decided that it was the ideal location for a golf course. While Roberts handled the finances, Jones and Mackenzie oversaw the construction of the course, which began in 1931 and was completed in 1932.
Within months of its completion Roberts and Jones discussed the possibility of hosting a major tournament, such as the U.S. Open; however, scheduling conflicts and climate-Augusta was too hot to host the U.S. Open, traditionally held in the summer-ultimately prohibited that idea. Yet Roberts remained determined; if they could not hold a national open, then why not stage an annual invitational event hosted by the legendary Bobby Jones? To make the event even more viable, Roberts proposed that Jones enter the tournament, coming out of retirement for a week each year to compete against his old opponents and friends.
Jones resisted the idea of competing, but Roberts convinced him that the
excitement surrounding his participation might make the difference between
the survival and failure of the tournament. Jones very much wanted the
tournament and club to succeed, so he agreed to play.
The natural beauty of the course's 18 holes-each adorned with the plant from which it gets its name-and the fact that the golf calendar did not already include a major event during those months, made spring the ideal time for the Masters to be held. Moreover, early April was the best time to catch the nation's sportswriters as they returned north from baseball's spring training in Florida. A few days in Augusta provided them a respite from their travels and from the national pastime. In sum, the schedule, the weather, the environment, the competition, the business leadership of Clifford Roberts, and the presence of Bobby Jones all combined to make the Masters a success from the beginning.
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In the previous issue of GwinnettForum, the date for the opening of the Hamilton Mill Library was incorrect. The grand opening and ribbon cutting for the library is Saturday, May 8 at 1 p.m. There was another item which needs to be corrected. EMC Security was left off the names of those firms which underwrite GwinnettForum. We apologize. How could we have done that! --eeb
If you have delayed ordering the history of Gwinnett published in 2009, there are only three copies left. Most fast to secure your copy of Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta. Call 770 840 1003 to reserve your copy!
Hurry. No second printing is anticipated. Get this local bestseller before the supply is exhausted!
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