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The Shawnee destroyed another Native people, the Westo, and occupied their lands at the head of the Savannah River's navigation on the fall line, near present-day Augusta.Another theory is that the name Savannah refers to the extensive marshlands surrounding the river for miles inland, and is derived from the English term "savanna", a kind of tropical grassland, which was borrowed by the English from Spanish sabana and used in the Southern Colonies. Georgia's Ogeechee River flows toward the Atlantic Ocean some 16 miles (26 km) south of downtown Savannah, and forms the southern city limit. Five canals and several pumping stations have been built to help reduce the effects: Fell Street Canal, Pipe Makers Canal, Kayton Canal, Springfield Canal and Casey Canal, the first four draining north into the Savannah River and the last, the Casey, draining south into the Vernon River.Savannah's downtown area, which includes the Savannah Historic District, the Savannah Victorian Historic District, and 22 parklike squares, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States (designated by the U. Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions during the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.General James Edward Oglethorpe, a philanthropist and a representative of King George II to the American colonies, was sent to create a buffer south of the Savannah River to protect the Carolinas from Spanish Florida and French Louisiana.Savannah is at risk for hurricanes, particularly of the Cape Verde type.
Although decades might pass between snowfall events, Savannah has experienced snow on rare occasions, most notably in December 1989, when up to 3.9 inches were recorded in one day in parts of the city.Nevertheless, the extreme temperatures have officially ranged from 105 °F (41 °C), on July 20, 1986, down to 3 °F (−16 °C), on January 21, 1985.Seasonally, Savannah tends to have hot and humid summers with frequent (but brief) thunderstorms that develop in the warm and tropical air masses, which are common.General James Oglethorpe and settlers from the ship Anne landed at Yamacraw Bluff and were greeted by Tomochichi, the Yamacraws, and Indian traders John and Mary Musgrove. The city of Savannah was founded on that date, along with the colony of Georgia.In 1751, Savannah and the rest of Georgia became a Royal Colony and Savannah was made the colonial capital of Georgia.