Honoring Leo Frank; Story of Jew's lynching gets new attention
Ninety years ago, some of Marietta's leading citizens gathered to hang a man at what is now Roswell Road and Frey's Gin Court. In 1915, Leo Frank, a Jewish superintendent of an Atlanta pencil factory, was murdered on a farm belonging to former Cobb County sheriff William Frey. Today, the spot is part of a busy strip in the shadow of I-75, crammed with fast food restaurants --- and not far from the Big Chicken.
The lynching of Frank, one of the saddest chapters in Marietta's history, will be commemorated Wednesday with prayers and the unveiling of a second plaque where the crime was committed.
"I believe remembering something even though it is evil assures that it is never perpetuated again," said Rabbi Steve Lebow, spiritual leader of Temple Kol Emeth in east Cobb, who identified the site a decade ago.
In 1995, he placed a plaque on a corner of a brick office building on the property. It reads: "Wrongly accused. Falsely convicted. Wantonly murdered."
This fall, Lebow is planning to file an application with the Georgia Historical Society to have a historic marker placed on the site.
Frank was accused of the 1913 murder of Mary Phagan, a former Mariettan who worked at the National Pencil Factory in Atlanta. Historians believe that the state's main witness, Jim Conley, a janitor at the factory, murdered the 13-year-old girl.
Frank's sensational trial --- arguably that era's trial of the century --- united supporters nationwide and brought out virulent anti-Semitism. In its wake came the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.
comments powered by Disqus
- New Hampshire professors at odds with library over discarded books
- Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
- Independent Scotland's last gasp forgotten in Panama jungle
- LBJ was the ‘most-threatened president in American history’
- New exhibit at the World War I Museum ... Over by Christmas: August-December 1914
- Ken Burns on Colbert to promote his new documentary, "The Address"
- UC Santa Barbara History Department featuring a series on the Great Society at 50
- Historians are trying to recover censored texts from World War I poets
- Diane Ravitch blasts the NYT for failing to understand the controversy over Common Core
- Mormon history professors debate atheists in bid to foster greater understanding