July 15, 1870 was a busy day. First Prussia and France started the Franco-Prussian War. Then Manitoba and the North-West Territories were transferred to Canada. But, the event we care about deals with post civil war reconstruction.
Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.
Starting in 1866, the southern states rejoined, first, Tennessee in 1866. In 1868, 6 other states were readmitted, including North Carolina on July 4. The final 4 states came back in 1870, with Georgia last on July 15.
Atalanta, at the start of the civil war, was the 99th largest city in the U.S. with only 9,554 residents. (it kind of changes your perspective when you think about Sherman burning Atlanta, and it only displacing up to 9,554 people) It was the 12th largest city in the Confederacy. It was a vital transportation and logistics center, connecting much of the south. It was DEFINITELY needed by the South.
Georgia voted January 19, 1861 to leave the Union. Until the 1970's the vote for secession had been listed as 50,243 to 37,123. Recently, the vote has been recounted, and was determined that it was 42,744 to 41,717... in FAVOR OF STAYING IN THE UNION! Some people (like me) believe that the only reason Georgia seceded was because the Vice Presidency of the south was offered to Alexander Stephens, a guy who was in favor of preserving the Union. Was Stephens bought?
As for the beer. Sweetwater SGB is listed as:
Definitely one of the finer American Brown Ales. A deep copper colored, mild brown ale. SGB is accentuated by a slight nuttiness from its malt character. Designed to be a session beer it has a real smooth finish with a very subtle hop character.Sweetwater itself is out of Atlanta. It's 22 miles away from Stone Mountain Park, home of the Southern Mount Rushmore.
In honor of Georgia coming back to the Union, go out and find a Sweetwater Sweet Georgia Brown; and reflect on the way that votes were manipulated to get Georgia into the Confederacy.