Historic Markers Across Georgia



Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn and the Civil Rights Act



Marker ID: GHS 97-1
Location: at Madison/Elbert County line
County: Madison
Coordinates: N 34° 9.38    W 083° 5.046
  34.15633    -83.0841
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM7JBE
Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn and the Civil Rights Act Marker
Photo by Ken Moser



Text:

On the night of July 11, 1964 three African-American World War II veterans returning home following training at Ft. Benning, Georgia were noticed in Athens by local memers of the Ku Klux Klan. The officers were followed to the nearby Broad River Bridge where their pursuers fired into the vehicle, killing Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn. When a local jury failed to convice the suspects of murder, the federal government successfully prosecuted the men for violations under the new Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed just nine days before Penn´s murder. The case was instrumental in the creation of a Justice Department task force whose work culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

97-1 Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Lemuel Penn Memorial Committee, and Colbert Grove Baptist Church 2006.7



 

Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn and the Civil Rights Act


 

097-HS01