Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate New Historical Marker on the Civil Rights Trail in South Georgia

Atlanta, Ga., September 24, 2019 – The Georgia Historical Society in partnership with Lee County High School Beta Club, Lee County High School AP English Program, and First Monumental Faith Ministries will dedicate a new Civil Rights Trail historical marker recognizing the Leesburg Stockade and the girls held there in 1963.
 
The marker discusses the role of mass media in sharing the struggle for civil and human rights across the country and the world including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) photographs that were released nationwide of the girls being held in the Leesburg Stockade in 1963. This will be the first marker on the Georgia Civil Rights Trail located in Lee County.
 
Speakers for the event include Karla Heath-Sands, News Anchor, WALB TV; Dr. Jason Miller, Superintendent, Lee County Schools; The Honorable Dorothy Hubbard, Mayor of Albany; The Honorable Jim Quinn, Mayor of Leesburg; Dr. Shirley Green-Reese, one of the young women held at the Stockade in 1963; Danny Lyon, the photographer whose photos exposed the plight of the girls; and Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. The Lee County Middle School Girls Choir will sing.
 
The Dedication will take place Friday, September 27, at 9:30 a.m. at the Leesburg Stockade, 323 Leslie Highway, Leesburg, Georgia.
 
A reception with light refreshments will follow the dedication. The media and the public are invited to attend.
 
GHS’s Georgia Civil Rights Trail (CRT) initiative focuses broadly on the economic, social, political and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement. Specifically, roadside historical markers tell the story of the Movement in Georgia by guiding audiences to the sites where history happened, inviting them to stand on the ground where struggles and events took place, and providing a foundation upon which to build and cultivate a deeper understanding of the past and its relevance to the present. The CRT highlights significant events from communities around the state to illustrate the overarching themes of education, leadership, massive resistance and white backlash, desegregation, and voting rights.

The marker reads:


The Leesburg Stockade
Georgia Civil Rights Trail

In July 1963, a group of adolescent African-American girls were incarcerated in the Lee County Stockade following arrest during the Civil Rights Movement. The girls were held in a single cell lacking proper plumbing, running water, bedding, and sanitary supplies. Because their families were not initially told their location and the girls never faced formal charges, they became known as the Leesburg Stockade Stolen Girls. Their plight was captured and shared through the photography of Danny Lyon of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC’s distribution of the photos in Jet magazine and the SNCC newsletter, Student Voice, led to the girls’ release in mid-September 1963. The use of photojournalism and mass media in the Movement allowed Americans on a broad scale to witness and empathize with the struggle for human and civil rights.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Lee County High School Beta Club, Lee County High School AP English Program, and First Monumental Faith Ministries

For additional information please contact Patricia Meagher at 912-651-2125, ext. 153 or on cell at 434-996-7085 or by email at pmeagher@georgiahistory.com.  

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ABOUT THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL MARKER PROGRAM
The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the past 20 years, GHS has erected over 250 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also maintains the more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby.Visit georgiahistory.com for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.

ABOUT GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
To learn more visit georgiahistory.com.

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