Georgia House Approves MLK Statue at Capitol

04 March 2014

ATLANTA - A plan passed by the Georgia House of Representatives approves a statue commemorating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to be placed at the state Capitol.

Support was overwhelming for the privately funded statue, with little debate before the 173-3 vote.

Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, pointed out that previous people commemorated with statues on the grounds had either served as governors or senators. The sponsor of House Bill 1080, Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, said that even though King was never elected, he is the only Georgian honored with a national holiday. King is also one out of two Georgians to have received the Nobel Peace Prize.

“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.

The bill still requires passage by the Senate and the governor’s signature to be fully approved.

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