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Governor Ellis Arnall

Governor Ellis Arnall - Alondra Sauersinger HIS 201 Georgia...

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Alondra Sauersinger HIS 201: Georgia History Professor Jeffery C. Wells 16 July 2009 Ellis Gibbs Arnall: A Progressive Governor During His Time The United States of America has a population of over three hundred and six million individuals as of today, and nearly ten million of those reside in the state of Georgia (U.S Census Bureau). It is up to each state to elect a chief law enforcement officer, more commonly known as governor. According to the constitution of the state of Georgia, the qualifications required to be a candidate for the governor of Georgia are: one must be at least thirty years old, a U.S. citizen for fifteen years, and a residence of Georgia for six years prior to running for office (Buchanan). Currently, eighty-one men have held the title, Governor of Georgia. In 1942, Ellis Gibbs Arnall became the sixty-ninth individual to serve as Governor of Georgia. At that time, Arnall was the youngest governor in the United States and he was “considered to be among the most progressive and effective in the modern history of the state” (“New” Henderson). This paper will give the reader an overview of some of Arnall’s many accomplishments during his single-term as governor, although like many he did not succeed in all his programs, he did make an overall positive impact in Georgia’s education, state governmental system and economic development. According to Arnall, education was “the cure for ignorance, poverty, prejudice, hatred, and demagoguery” (Meyers 290). As a result, Arnall made education a top priority during his run for governor and pledged that his first act would be to restore accreditation to Georgia’s institutions of higher learning “in order to preserve the academic credits of students and ‘save the
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Sauersinger 2 investments parents have made in their children’” (“Politics” Henderson 49). One must remember that former Governor Eugene Talmadge caused the ten state-supported colleges for whites in Georgia and other accreditation agencies to lose accreditation. Talmadge pushed to have two northern educators and later eight other University System employees dismissed as an effort to remove “foreign professors trying to destroy the sacred traditions of the South” (Coleman 378). Consequently, the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools removed those agencies. Immediately after taking office as governor, Arnall kept his promise to remove “the slimy hands of dictatorial governors” by helping to create a constitutional Board of
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