AVOC.info
Quick-Search:    

Advanced Search


7-13-04 Lemuel Penn Murdered Near Athens in 1964: PART 1

With the fortieth anniversary of the Lemuel Penn slaying there have been several articles about it.  An article on July 9, 2004, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells the story in considerable detail.  On July 11, 2004, the Athens Banner-Herald carried a long story detailing the involvement of Athens Klansmen and the genesis of the slaying happening near the arch in the downtown area of the Classic Center. http://onlineathens.com/stories/071104/new_20040711120.shtml

AVOC

 

July 11, 2004

 

Some Remember the Lemuel Penn Slaying with Shame

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

With the fortieth anniversary of the Lemuel Penn slaying there have been several articles about it.  An article on July 9, 2004, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells the story in considerable detail.  On July 11, 2004, the Athens Banner-Herald carried a long story detailing the involvement of Athens Klansmen and the genesis of the slaying happening near the arch in the downtown area of the Classic Center. http://onlineathens.com/stories/071104/new_20040711120.shtml

 

There is other information on the Internet:  Some examples appear below.

 

On June 6, 2002, I did an AVOC Article on the Penn slaying and my memory of it.   I felt then and now that it has not received the attention locally and regionally that it should have over the years.  It was a senseless crime. http://avoc.info/Editorials/ATHENS%20CONNECTION%20TO%20TERRORISM%20IN%20THE%2060S%20MURDER%20RACISM.htm

Comments from the June 6, 2002 AVOC Article:   “….. The Lemuel Penn slaying caught my attention. At the time I was an Army Lieutenant stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. I had been proud that Georgia had not experienced the bombings and murders that occurred in Alabama and Mississippi (Birmingham Church bombings and the Jackson riots and Medgar Evers slaying going on in the early ‘60’s).

I was close to the situation since I drove through those states in my trips between GA and Texas. I remember stopping at a gas station in Jackson during the riots and saw a “sawed off” shotgun beside the cash register. (As duty officer at Corps Headquarters, I became aware of secret Army contingency plans to “occupy the south” in the event the riots and insurrections became wide-spread. Thankfully, the plans were never implemented!)

Colonel Penn was driving from Fort Benning to Washington and came through Athens. Some Ku Kluxers, meeting in a garage in downtown Athens, saw his car on Broad Street near the UGA Arch and decided to follow him and kill him. They shot him on the Broad River Bridge in Madison County. The case made national news at the time. Georgia’s Governor Carl Sanders (young, educated and articulate) had condemned the acts in the national media. His actions contrasted greatly with those of the Governors in ALA and Mississippi at the time. I was moved to write a letter to Governor Sanders telling him how proud I was of him and Georgia while residing in Texas with the Army. Sanders was the type Governor that helped Georgia avoid some of the horrors of other states.

Shipp wrote a book about the Penn slaying in 1981 that is worthy of reading as we consider our history and past. Some newer residents of our area and some Athenians like to talk about Moores Ford (happened when I was a child) and other horrible lynchings in our past. However, the worst racist killing I remember in my adult life in this area was the Lemuel Penn slaying that had its origins on Broad Street in the Classic City of Athens on July 11, 1964. For those who did not live through those times and did not see the media reports, I recommend the reading of “Murder at Broad River Bridge”, Bill Shipp, 1981, Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.

This event is much closer in time and present day life than others in our more distant past. It illustrates that ignorance, hate and evil can be present everywhere- including a University Town- where we have a higher degree of educated and sophisticated citizens. We need to realize these things are not just present in remote areas of rural Georgia. Shipp’s book does recognize some leaders of strong mettle (like Judge James Barrow) who took a stand in a very difficult .”


SEE:  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    July 9, 2004        Jim Auchmutey – Staff

             http://www.ajc.com/friday/content/epaper/editions/friday/news_04eea311e0f3f15c007d.html

                60 YEARS: CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE SOUTH: Madison County confronts dark past

ALSO SEE: Highway 172 Revisited, The Athens Banner-Herald, July 11, 2004, By Jim Thompson; http://onlineathens.com/stories/071104/new_20040711120.shtml;

ALSO:  AVOC ARTICLE OF 4-18-02: http://avoc.info/Editorials/CYNTHIA%20MCKINNEY%20DRAWS%20FIRE%20FOR%20REMARKS%20ABOUT%20BUSH.htm


University of Iowa Libraries

http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/MSC/ToMsc550/MsC507/msc507.html

Manuscript Register

PAPERS OF THE FBI INVESTIGATION OF THE LEMUEL A. PENN MURDER

Collection Dates: 1964 -- 1967
3 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420


Quick-Search: