Georgia Magazine - December 2009 - (Page 12)

COMPILED BY VICTORIA SCHARF DECASTRO Student’s quest brings FDR marker to Gordon College campus A historic marker commemorating the Aug. 11, 1938, speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Barnesville was unveiled in October at Gordon College on the spot where FDR dedicated Lamar Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC), now called Southern Rivers Energy. The quest to erect the marker began in 2006 when Anthony McCalla, then a Gordon College student, was impressed with how friends at the University of Georgia spoke knowledgeably about their school’s history. McCalla wondered about the history at his campus; upon researching, he discovered that a sitting president had made a memorable speech there before a crowd estimated as high as 50,000. “Today, we may not have the thousands, but with the help of the Georgia Historical Society, we can erect a marker that will let thousands of people know what happened here,” McCalla said at the unveiling. FDR’s visit to Barnesville was to ceremonially “flip the switch” to turn on the electric power at Lamar EMC, but his speech evolved into a campaign push for Lawrence Camp who was running against Georgia Sen. Walter F. George for the Democratic nomination. Even though FDR was immensely popular throughout the state, his campaign for Camp fell flat as voters returned George to the Senate. “While FDR’s speech From left: Raleigh Henry, Anthony McCalla and Paul may well have been an Wood pose with the new historic marker. excuse to campaign for a favorite senatorial candidate, it all Grover Worsham Jr. was 8 when started with an invitation to come he attended the historic event with throw the switch to turn on the lights his family. for Lamar EMC,” says Paul Wood, “My daddy already had our president and CEO of Georgia house wired,” says Worsham. “When Electric Membership Corp. in Tucker. we left home that day we didn’t have electricity. When we got home that afternoon we had lights, and the refrigerator was working.” (His father, Grover Worsham Sr., later became a director at Lamar EMC.) Raleigh Henry, president/CEO of Southern Rivers Energy, credits McCalla for having “the foresight and the wisdom” to push for the historic marker. “Southern Rivers Energy was the only cooperative that FDR dedicated, and we’re proud of that fact,” says Henry. McCalla graduated from Gordon College in 2006 with a criminal justice degree and now works with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit This year, a record number of electric membership corporations (EMCs) participatAuthority Police. ed in Hands On Georgia (HOGA) Week, which took place Sept. 26-Oct. 2. EMC service “When FDR came here in 1938, projects included an Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, a flood victims donation, beautification he turned the lights on for farmers projects and cleaning an area around a local river. in rural Georgia,” says McCalla. “I Hands On Georgia Week was launched in 2004 by Gov. Sonny Perdue. This year, hope this marker will turn on the HOGA Week projects took place in all 159 counties in the state. minds of many to know the history Employees from 19 EMCs, and Tucker-based Georgia EMC, Georgia Systems of Barnesville.” Operations Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Oglethorpe Power Corp. participated. —Jackie Kennedy Hands On Georgia BRIAN RICKMOND, GEORGIA TRANSMISSION CORP. STEVE CHALKER, JEFFERSON ENERGY GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - December 2009

Georgia Magazine - December 2009
Picture This?
Georgia News
A Victorian Christmas
It’s a holiday tradition!
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks

Georgia Magazine - December 2009