Friday, July 11, 2008

Jefferson Davis' 200th celebrated

By Winston Skinner

The Times-Herald

Jefferson Davis -- who headed a Southern government that dissolved 142 years ago -- was feted with a birthday party with cake, the "Happy Birthday" song and tributes from two local teenagers on his 200th birthday.

The local birthday celebration -- sponsored by Coweta Guards Camp 715, Sons of Confederate Veterans -- was held in the fellowship hall at East Newnan Baptist Church on June 3. Davis spoke from the back of a train in 1886 and local citizens lined the same railroad tracks seven years later as his coffin passed by rail headed to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

Davis also reviewed troops at Palmetto during his tenure as president of the Confederate State of America, and his distant in-laws include a Newnan artist.

Mike Webb spoke briefly at the East Newnan ceremonies. He welcomed SCV Lt. Commander-North Ted Brook and Georgia Division SCV Commander Charlie Lott who were guests for the meeting.

"Tonight we'll be honoring one of the leading figures of American history," Webb said, standing near a large portrait of Davis. He noted that Davis came from a family "steeped in military service." His father, a native Georgian, was a Revolutionary War veterans, and three older brothers served in the War of 1812.

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