Quick, name the two individuals honored with special "days" by law in Georgia.
Just a guess, but I would bet (if gambling weren't illegal in Georgia. And if we pretend that the lottery, coin operated amusement machines and charity raffles with their attendant fees paid to the local sheriff aren't actually gambling, sanctioned and directly benefiting the coffers of the state government. Anyway...) that most people said some combination of Jimmy Carter, Margaret Mitchell, Ty Cobb and Julia Roberts. I would double down on my bet that no one picked Ronald Reagan and Billy Elliot - and I would make a lot on that bet, I think!
O.C.G.A. Sec. 1-4-15, effective as of January 1, 2006 provides: "The General Assembly finds that a Georgia family's proud tradition of racing began in Dawsonville, Georgia, under the tutelage and guiding hand of George Elliott. George's young son Bill began to demonstrate at an early age a natural skill and competitive racing instinct at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, and in 1976, at the tender age of 20, Bill Elliott entered his first Winston Cup race and launched a career that would span decades. Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, a modest, unassuming, and unpretentious man, has become a household name in NASCAR racing and has been selected Most Popular Driver an unprecedented 16 times, Georgia Professional Athlete of the Year twice, National Motorsports Driver of the Year 14 times, and in 1998, was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. It is virtually impossible to list all of the honors and awards Million Dollar Bill has garnered over his incandescent career, but perhaps his most acclaimed accomplishment is his support, love, and respect from racing fans. He has given unstintingly of his time, talents, energy, and financial resources to numerous charities including the Special Olympics, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation and it is abundantly fitting and proper that this extraordinary Georgian be recognized in a special and lasting manner." Now you know what you should be doing in Georgia on October 8 (if you are not too busy celebrating Matt Damon's birthday).
Interestingly, O.C.G.A. Sec. 1-4-15.1, declaring February 6 each year to be "Ronald Reagan Day," did not become effective until July 1, 2006. While the Georgia legislature appreciates "peace through strength," nothing and no one tops NASCAR.