House votes to place privately funded statue of MLK at Capitol

by Morris News Service

ATLANTA -- Support was overwhelming Monday in the Georgia House for putting a privately funded statue on the grounds of the state Capitol honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who grew up a few blocks away.

There was little debate before the 173-3 vote. Only Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, raised the point that the other people commemorated with statues on the grounds had either served as elected governors, senators or both.

The sponsor of House Bill 1080, Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, said while King was never elected, he is the only Georgian to have a national holiday and one of two to have received a Nobel Peace Prize. The other Nobel laureate, former governor and president Jimmy Carter, already has his likeness on the grounds.

"This will be the most significant tribute paid to Dr. King since President Reagan signed the holiday into law because we will be honoring him in his home," said Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, and a one-time aide to King.

Majority Leader Larry O'Neal also called on his colleagues to support the measure as a credit to the whole state and a likely tourist attraction.

"Not only does it honor a truly great, great, great Georgian in his home state but it will become a shrine of achievement," said O'Neal, R-Bonaire.

An hour earlier, the House split 138-37 to pass a separate bill putting the Ten Commandments also on the Capitol grounds. Both measures still require passage by the Senate and the governor's signature to become law.



More Local

Two suspects arrested in homicides

Two suspects have been arrested and charged in Monday's double homicide on Widgeon Trail. Kenya Nneaka Sewell, 26, and Jarico Deshun Brown, ... Read More


Family, friends: Defendant is sleepwalker

Day four of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray for the alleged rape of a woman in Senoia saw his defense team call a DNA expert to the stand T ... Read More


Senoia Council

‘Walking Dead’ fence has to come down

The chain-link fence that has provided secure parking and storage for equipment used in the filming of “The Walking Dead” in dow ... Read More


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Ruth Hill to implement new model

Ruth Hill Elementary School was recently selected as one of 10 schools in Georgia to implement Academic Parent Teacher Teams, a new parent-t ... Read More


Defense draws judge’s ire in rape case

The trial of a Newnan man indicted for rape continued in Coweta County Superior Court early Monday. Attorneys were able to hear the testimon ... Read More

Rape Trial

Connections, memories part of testimony

Three witnesses were called to testify in Monday afternoon’s session of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, accused of rape after an ... Read More