Government SPLOST 7 | | | Editor

Martin Luther King Jr. statue might be coming to Georgia Capitol

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 7:01 AM
Last updated 7:42 PM
  • Follow Government

ATLANTA — Support was overwhelming Monday in the Georgia House for an effort which would place 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 on the Capitol grounds.

Both measures still require passage by the Senate and the governor’s signature to become law.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
internationallyunknown 03/04/14 - 10:11 am
Too bad his kids are behaving

Too bad his kids are behaving like kids.

Truth Matters
Truth Matters 03/04/14 - 11:04 am
Dr. King's children need to

Dr. King's children need to re-focus and consider how their behavior smears the legacy of their father. Their behavior is proof that we can't always blame the actions of children on their parents. Dr. King lived a selfless life and modeled non-violence to the world. These children need to learn from his example.

GiantsAllDay 03/04/14 - 11:11 am
Capitol statue for 2015:

Capitol statue for 2015: Chipper Jones and a Hooters waitress.

Dseven 03/04/14 - 12:41 pm
Tourist attraction... really?

A tourist would probably walk across the street to see a statue, but would never (ever) visit an area to see a statue, unless maybe it was the Statue of Liberty. Don't get me wrong, this "man" has an amazing (but certaily not perfect) legacy, and I'm sure the statue is quite nice, but I doubt I'll make any plans to drive down and see it.

Marinerman1 03/04/14 - 01:29 pm
About Time

It is about time for this. I agree -- I wish his children were acting better. It will be something else nice to see when I venture to the Capitol.

southern2 03/04/14 - 03:23 pm
Guess this is the reason Gov

Guess this is the reason Gov Deal kidnapped the 12 foot tall statue of Tom Watson from its place of prominence for 80 years on the capitol grounds last November. Probably will be the perfect spot for the new statue of MLK.

Agree MLK deserves to be remembered as an historical figure but not at the expense of trumping the memories of other great and influential Americans as we have seen in the renaming of roads in every city, replacing a Federal Holiday, and dominating public school subject matter. Sorry if it hurts anyone's feelings but aren't we way past the saturation point of new ways to honor his memory.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs