Renaming Calhoun Expressway returns to Augusta Commission for a vote

An effort to remove the name of John C. Calhoun from a central Augusta roadway returns to the city’s governing body Tuesday for a vote.

 

Augusta Commissioner Bill Fennoy, who represents the area around the John C. Calhoun Expressway, has called to remove the honor given in 1966 to a man whose views no longer represent Augusta.

Prior to his death in 1850, Calhoun argued slavery was a “positive good” and urged Southern states to secede from the United States rather than abandon it.

Fennoy has struggled to gain support from others on the 10-member commission. Last week, only one – Commissioner Ben Hasan – cast a vote in favor of a new name, “Veterans Highway.” A similar effort to rename the road failed last year.

“They might have a change of heart between now and tomorrow,” Fennoy said Monday.

Commissioner Grady Smith said he won’t agree to the name change.

“I’m going to speak up and tell him, Bill, you represent District 1 and they’ve got too many things they need done,” Smith said.

“See what you can do to help people now, not what happened 150 years ago,” he said.

Commissioner Dennis Williams said he won’t decide until Tuesday.

“I’ll just make a decision at the last minute, based on what kind of support it’s receiving,” Williams said.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Augusta Commission meeting

WHEN: 2 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Lee Beard Commission Chamber, 535 Telfair St.

 

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