115 Georgia Eighth Grade Students Will Be Chosen Each Year to “Become” An Original Citizen For A Day
"To create a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the contribution of Georgia’s original founding families."
Criteria for Essay Selection
In order to be considered, the student must write an essay of at least 500 words about one of the original Georgia Citizens, whose names may be found here: Original Citizens. or Students may chose any original person who participated in Georgia’s First Day, including Native Americans, South Carolina Militia, Boat crew members, Members of the Colony’s Trustees and even King George II for whom the colony and state is named, but, especially, those original 114 who first were called “Georgian”.
Essays will be judged on the student’s effort to research and report the historic evidence about a chosen original participant and explain how the selected historic participant took part and why his/her contribution was significant to the success of the colony and future state.
! Essays must be submitted and in our hands no later than December 15th. Early submission is encouraged.
Winners’ names will be posted on this web site no later than January 3rd. Decisions are final. Materials submitted become the property of Georgia’s First Day.
Winners Get The Good Stuff
You will be given the identity of an original Georgia Citizen for Georgia Day February 12th.
You will join 114 other winners with their identities in Savannah and board the Boat at City Hall Dock on River Street on the Savannah River on the morning of February 12th and start your day with breakfast on board as the Boat leaves the dock for its voyage to Beaufort, South Carolina.
You will disembark in Beaufort for a short time to explore the town founded in 1710 and from where The Original Colonists launched their final leg to their new home on the banks of the Savannah River. You will have lunch ashore.
The Boat will stop briefly in Port Royal, where the colonists were forced by weather to take shelter on February 11th 1733.
Then you will leave Port Royal to take the last historic leg of the trip to Yamacraw Bluff and Savannah, passing the old Cockspur lighthouse, Fort Pulaski and Fort Jackson, the Waving Girl monument to Savannah’s historic welcoming hospitality, landing at last at the site of the original landing. You will be given an historic narration of significant events and artifacts along the way.
You will be the only person representing an original arrival and will imagine how he or she must have felt finally arriving after 2 ½ months of grueling travel.
You will climb the steps up to the peak of the bluff and gather together at the site of Oglethorpe’s tent for a moment of thanksgiving for a safe voyage and reflect on your participation representing one of the original citizens- an honor you will cherish and which will encourage you to great accomplishment in your life.
You will see and remember how change and progress have come to Georgia since that First Day when there was no civilization in site except the Yamacraw Creek Indian Village and trading post a few hundred yards from Oglethorpe’s tent on the Bluff.
Winners’ names and photos will appear on the web site for the year in which they participate.
Winners will receive a certificate of merit and recognition for re-enacting Georgia’s First Day Arrival
Some outstanding examples of essays may appear on the web site. Winners will be given recognition and a photo posted with the essays which appear.
And of course, the official T-Shirt and a lifelong memory.
Let us know you are going to submit and ask any questions.
There is no charge for participation, but you will be expected to assume the expenses of your travel to Savannah, lodging, food and entertainment while here.