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Marker at site of Georgia lynching to be rededicated

August 18, 2018

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A ceremony will soon be held to rededicate a marker that commemorates a Georgia lynching.

It has been 103 years since 20 men broke into a prison and hanged a Jewish man, Leo Frank, in Cobb County, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .

Frank had been wrongfully accused of killing 13-year-old Mary Phagan, who worked at the pencil factory Frank ran.

For the past four years, the Georgia Historical Society marker commemorating the lynching has been in a Georgia Department of Transportation warehouse. That’s because of construction along the road where it was located.

Now, the marker has been put back in place near the site of the lynching.

A ceremony is planned for Aug. 23 to rededicate the marker, said Natalie Dale, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation. Representatives of the Anti-Defamation League and scholars who have studied the Frank case will be at the event, said Rabbi Steve Lebow of Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta.

Frank had been sent to the state prison farm in Milledgeville, where he survived a knife attack by a fellow inmate.

A mob then came to Milledgeville with an elaborate plan that involved cutting telephone wires and taking circuitous routes to lose anyone tailing them, the Atlanta newspaper reported. They took Frank, handcuffed with his legs tied at the ankles.

Frank’s body was found swinging from the limb of a hollow oak in the heart of a thicket. No one has been charged with Frank’s murder.

In 1982 on his death bed, 83-year-old Alonzo Mann, a former “office boy” at National Pencil, said Frank was innocent. Mann said he’d seen another man — a janitor — carrying Phagan’s body to the basement of the factory on the day of her death.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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