America’s Confederation’s Largest Shrine Receives New Exhibit Describing KKK History

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Just over a month after Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp appointed the first black president at the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (SMMA), the country’s largest Confederate monument will finally tell the “whole story” of the three-acre sculpture – the members of the Ku Klux Klan and all.

“I know people have been waiting for some time to see the changes in this beloved state park,” said Rev. Abraham Mosley, president of the SMMA. “Additions and changes are coming, but we’re on a path, and we want to get it right. It will be hard to thread a needle and please everyone, but our Georgia today is a vast tapestry, and I would like to think that we can all weave together somehow. .

Founded in the late 1950s, Stone Mountain Park is home to the world’s largest relief sculpture, representing Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee, and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. More than a century after losing the Civil War, these figures stand 90 by 190 feet above the surface of the natural monument, which formed about 300 to 350 million years ago when magma in the crust land gave birth to the Blue Ridge Mountains. .


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Since Vice President Spiro Agnew dedicated the memorial sculpture in 1970, the park has grown to host laser shows and even three Olympic events in 1996. Now, almost a year after the Confederate monuments were toppled across the country to protest the racism and slavery they represent for many, the park is in the process of getting a facelift.

“Economically, we cannot stay as we are, change is inevitable,” said Bill Stephens, CEO of SMMA, in a statement. “We can either do it or define ourselves. We know that a larger and more diverse mix of offerings here at the park should not only help us attract more visitors, but also help those who already know the park come back more easily here, again and again.


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In addition to a new logo – which will not include the sculpture – the SMMA has approved a number of changes to the 3,400-acre state park which will be overseen by an advisory board of historians, local elected officials and governments, tourism industry leaders and other park stakeholders.

The sculpture will remain, but it will be flanked by a new museum exhibit “giving an honest story, ‘warts and all’ telling the story of the sculpture and including the reform and early involvement of the Klu Klux Klan,” said a spokesperson for the SMMA. The Confederate Flag Square, currently located at the base of the Stone Mountain Walking Trail, will also be moved to Valor Park, under the southeast corner of the sculpture and at the foot of the Memorial Hall lawn.

Apparently to counter the portrayal of these Confederate figures, the SMMA also announced that a bridge connecting Indian Island to the park on Stone Mountain Lake will be designated by the federal government on the National Register of Historic Places as the Washington W. King Covered Bridge, paying homage to the leading bridge builder.


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