Savannah wants segregationist governor’s name off bridge

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The mayor and council of Georgia’s oldest city want the name of a segregationist ex-governor stripped from the towering suspension bridge that dominates its riverside skyline.

The Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge is named for the populist Democrat who ruled state government in Georgia for three terms in the 1930s and ’40s. Talmadge won a dedicated following among rural whites with blunt declarations that a black man’s place was “at the back door with his hat in his hand.”

Mayor Eddie DeLoach and Savannah’s city council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday calling to remove Talmadge’s name from the bridge spanning the Savannah River.

But Georgia law says only state lawmakers can actually rename the bridge. A prior effort to strip Talmadge’s name in 2013 fell flat.

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