We should all take time this July Fourth weekend to remember the men who gave us freedom's famous Declaration.
Augusta is fortunate because two of those 56 men who pledged lives and sacred honor to liberty's cause in 1776 are buried here: Georgia signers Lyman Hall and George Walton.
But they are buried here because of another man, probably the most famous Augustan you've never heard of: Andrew Jackson Miller.
It is easy to see the lights of Christmas from the windows of the News Building here on Broad Street.
It doesn't take much for our old downtown to take on a holiday appearance. Much of this season's charm is its nostalgia factor, and the old-fashioned brick buildings easily evoke a sense of a century of Christmas Days seen out their windows.
John Francis Battle Jr. was perhaps the most grizzled veteran reporter on The Augusta Chronicle staff in the past century.
From the time he started at the newspaper as a copy boy in 1907 until his death in 1972, "Mr. Johnny" saw just about everything that happened in our town.
He was a combat veteran, having enlisted with the old Richmond Hussars patroling the Mexican border. He went to France in the Great War, what we now call World War I.
In May 1884 faculty members of the Medical College of Georgia gathered around a teen-aged west Georgia girl and tried to determine her secrets. The effort, as far as we know, was unsuccessful.
Her name was Lulu Hurst and she was called by The Augusta Chronicle "The Amazing Wonder of the Nineteenth Century."
What made her a wonder?
Most people don’t know it, but much of what is now downtown Augusta used to be a pretty much an island of land surrounded by swamp.
The town grew on the dry spot, and as it expanded, the old marshes -- similar to those around the airport -- were filled in with dirt and rocks and anything else that was handy.
There was probably no more tumultuous time in Augusta's long history than the years immediately following the Civil War.
The three R's of Reconstruction, Race and Republicans -- including its Georgia party leader Rufus (a fourth R?) Bullock, the Augustan in the Governor's Mansion, turned city normalcy upside down.
Former black slaves, who had no power a few years before, now had the vote, guns and even police powers.