Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

After 276, a birthday for Augusta is no big deal

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– David Campbell

In case you feel like celebrating, Augusta’s birthday is Thursday. You’ll need a lot of candles, too – about 276 by my count.

That’s because in a letter that was dated June 14, 1736, James Oglethorpe ordered authorities to lay out our town.

Over the years, a variety of historical associations tried to get us to celebrate June 14, tying it in with Flag Day and the birthday of the Army, but it has never caught on.

In 1739, Oglethorpe himself came to visit the town he had created. He stayed 10 days, then left, but not before leaving Augusta leaders with a thoughtful and logical growth plan.

Augusta’s leaders appear to have disregarded much of it, beginning a tradition that some would say continues.

Anyway, let me tell you my favorite James Oglethorpe story. During his military duty in Europe, a German general once splashed wine in a young Oglethorpe’s face and laughed.

Oglethorpe laughed good-naturedly, then took his own wine goblet and hurled it into the general’s face.

“We do that in England, too,” Oglethorpe told the stunned senior commander, “only harder.”

YOUR MAIL: I got a postcard from Marilyn and Leonard Syphrit, of Augusta, who returned to Anchorage, Alaska, to celebrate their 55th anniversary! They say there have been a lot of changes since they were there in the military from 1972 to 1976.

Also celebrating are Doris and Marty Charnock, who marked their 25th anniversary in “beautiful” Virginia Beach.

Lynn and Kathy Smith, of Appling, send a postcard from Boston. “Our first trip. Went to Fenway Park, but had no tickets!”

Greg and Teresa Brooks are in England checking out The Beatles’ connections in Liverpool. They write: “Beautiful day, 70 degrees and sunny. Our guide is taking us to all the Beatle history locations, as well as other sites. There’s no baseball here, but there is hurling and rugby.”

Barbara and Russell Williams, of Evans, sent a card from California. They write: “We are in Simi Valley at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. It is so nice and the view (outdoors) is great.”

I got a very funny postcard and greetings from the Outer Banks of North Carolina from Ann, Shirley, Audrey and Mary. Three of the group are from Wymberly in Martinez.

The Arringtons (Mike, Angie, Stacey and Tyler) said they found Williamsburg, Va., “Awesome!”

TODAY’S JOKE: A Florida tourist, out for a scuba lesson, asked the instructor, “Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”

“Well,” says the instructor, “If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat.”


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