One of the most infamous and widely reported incidents in Georgia’s legal history is the Leo Frank case. A thirteen-year-old girl who worked for the National Pencil Company, which he controlled, was raped and murdered by a Jewish man in Atlanta, who was tried for the crime and found guilty. Before Frank was lynched two years later, the case spread across the country. Jews and other people across the nation protested the conviction of an innocent man due to the level of anti-Semitism present in Frank’s conviction and subsequent lynching.
Leo Frank was accused when?
Jewish-American industrialist Leo Frank appeals his conviction for the next two years after being found guilty of killing 13-year-old factory worker Mary Phagan in Atlanta, Georgia, in April 1913. In April 1915, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately dismissed Frank’s last appeal. A group of men kidnapped and killed Leo Frank on August 17, 1915, not far from Marietta, Georgia. The media was stimulated by the Leo Frank case, which led to widespread coverage of the trial and Frank’s subsequent demise. Find out more by reading!
For what was Leo Frank well-known?
Leo Frank, full name Leo Max Frank, was an American manufacturing manager who was lynched after being found guilty of killing Mary Phagan in 1913. He was born in Cuero, Texas, and died in Marietta, Georgia, on August 17, 1915.
Leo Frank’s age at the time of his lynching.
Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old factory worker, was found dead in the National Pencil Factory’s Atlanta basement in the spring of 1913. In a case that would go down in Georgia history as one of the most infamous and still having an impact today Leo Frank, the factory’s superintendent, was charged with her slaying. Frank, a Jew from the North, was found guilty and given the death penalty right away.
But an angry mob stormed the state prison when the governor of Georgia modified Frank’s 1915 sentence to life in prison. referring to oneself “The Knights of Mary Phagan took Frank hostage, transported him to Phagan’s birthplace of Marietta, and hanged him on August 17. Aged 31 was Leo Frank.
The trial and lynching both rekindled the KKK and galvanized support for the recently established Anti-Defamation League by exposing the horrific realities of antisemitism and antisemitic plots in America. In this interview with Georgia Public Television, the late Dr. Clifford Kuhn said the following:
“Some people believe that the world is moving too quickly. And we cling to symbols to express our confusion, our frustration, and our rage at uncontrollable things. Locating convenient scapegoats is quite simple. Leo Frank was undoubtedly used as a scapegoat.
Leo Frank was he hung?
Slaton examined almost 10,000 pages of records, went to the pencil factory where the crime occurred, and ultimately came to the conclusion that Frank was innocent. He commuted the sentence, nevertheless, to life in prison because he believed that Frank’s innocence would ultimately be proven and that he would be freed.
Many Georgians were outraged by Slaton’s decision, which sparked rioting in Atlanta and a march by some of his more vociferous detractors to the governor’s home. The National Guard was activated by the governor, who also proclaimed martial law. A few days after Slaton’s term as governor came to an end, police led him and his wife to the train station, where they boarded a train out of the state, never to return for ten years.
Frank spent just under two months at a prison farm in Milledgeville following Slaton’s commutation. Frank was cut by a fellow prisoner with a knife while he was being held, but he lived. On the evening of August 16, 1915, 25 well-known Marietta residents posing as the Knights of Mary Phagan caravanned to Milledgeville, took Frank from his cell, and then drove him back to Marietta, Phagan’s hometown, where they hanged him from an oak tree. This put an end to Frank’s stay at the prison farm. Only a few months later, a large number of these same guys would participate in the Stone Mountain ceremony at night that founded the modern Ku Klux Klan.
The following morning in Marietta, a mob of up to 3,000 people arrived to see Frank’s hanging body. As the gathering became more disorderly, funeral directors had to take Frank’s body by force to prevent additional abuse.
Who murdered Mary at the Parade?
dramatizing the real-life account of Leo Frank, a factory manager who was found guilty of killing Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old manufacturing worker, in Atlanta in 1913. After a spectacular and contentious trial, Frank was found guilty of killing Mary Phagan and given the death by hanging penalty. On June 21, 1915, the Georgia governor commuted Frank’s death sentence to life in prison after his legal appeals were unsuccessful, ruining his own career in the process. On the morning of August 17, 1915, a select group of illustrious men from Marietta, Georgiathe hometown of Mary Phagantook Frank from prison and executed him.
Where in the facility was Mary Phagan’s body discovered?
Atlanta’s industrial, commercial, and financial elite derived its fortune from the industries that employed large numbers of migrants from the countryside who were underpaid, inadequately housed, overworked, and famished, despite local boosters’ claims that Atlanta was a glittering contemporary metropolis. Children in Atlanta, many of whom began working in factories at the age of 10 like Mary Phagan, received little of the affluence of the New South.
Where in Marietta was Leo Frank lynched?
Since the Northwest Corridor Express toll lanes opened to traffic on Saturday, September 8, 2018, drivers have been using the new Roswell Road exit of Interstate 75 in Marietta, Georgia, without realizing that they are passing the location where many people believe a historic grave injustice had occurred as they enter and exit the busy highway in Georgia.
Where Leo Frank Was Lynched 105 Years Ago: Justiceor Anti-Semitism?
On April 26, 1913, the night watchman discovered Mary Phagan’s strangled body in the basement of the National Pencil Company, close to an incinerator. Mary was just 13 years old.
Leo Max Frank, a Jew, was the superintendent of the pencil factory, where a female employee was killed. It is believed that Frank was falsely convicted of the crime. Did he attempt to sexually assault Mary Phagan, or was she killed and Frank was falsely accused?
Before the new toll lanes were built, the state historical marker commemorating Leo Frank’s lynching was situated on the south side of Roswell Road. A large tree, a K-Mart shopping center, a Long John Silver’s seafood restaurant, and a Wendy’s fast food burger restaurant could all be found close to the marking. The entrance to the toll road’s new sign is still hidden.
The crooked sign for Frey’s Gin Court was formerly placed on top of the sign for Roswell Road before being realigned due to the entrance and exit ramps for the new toll lanes.
The state historical marker’s original location is close to where the temporary orange detour sign is placed.
As construction of the entrance and exit ramp for the Northwest Corridor Express new toll lanes continues, traffic on Interstate 75 flows above the overpass that crosses Roswell Road.
The original Frey’s Gin Court’s pavement is covered in a layer of dirt; it was finally demolished to make room for the construction of the entrance and exit ramp for the new toll lanes of Interstate 75. Even the sign indicating the entrance to a Wendy’s hamburger fast food restaurant sustained damage.
The State Historical Marker for the Lynching of Leo Frank Today
The following is taken from the state historical marker commemorating Leo Frank’s lynching:
Leo M. Frank, a Jew who served as the National Pencil Company’s superintendent in Atlanta, was killed nearby on August 17, 1915, for the murder of Mary Phagan, a thirteen-year-old factory worker. In 1913, a guilty judgement was reached after a highly contentious trial that was driven by racial tensions and anti-Semitism. Frank was removed from the state jail in Milledgeville and taken to Phagan’s hometown of Marietta where he was hanged in front of a local mob after Governor John M. Slaton commuted his sentence from death to life in prison. He received a posthumous pardon in 1986 without being asked about guilt or innocence and in remembrance of the state’s failure to either protect Frank or prosecute his killers.
The following is carved on a marker that is situated next to the state historical marker to the west:
In honor of the hundreds of victims of hatred, bigotry, and ignorance who were lynched across America and were therefore denied justice.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Steve Oney that appeared in Atlanta magazine:
Frank will indeed be declared innocent by the unit if the passage of time serves as the determining element. A consensus has developed through time regarding what transpired on April 26, 1913 in Frank’s factory in downtown Atlanta: Jim Conley, a black janitor who served as the state’s key witness against Frank, was the murderer. I came to the same conclusion while doing research for my 2003 novel And the Dead Shall Rise, which is about the case. Of course, this is not how Georgians initially perceived it. Conley’s testimony was preferred by the all-white jury than that of Frank, his Jewish boss, and the judge handed down a hanging verdict for Frank.
The nation remembers the case because of what transpired after a Jim Crow-era court used a black man’s testimony to find a white man guilty of murder. Governor John Slaton commuted Frank’s death sentence in June 1915 after widespread public coverage and appeals that reached the US Supreme Court. Soon after, Frank was taken from the Georgia prison farm in Milledgeville by a gang of men from Marietta, Phagan’s hometown, who then drove Frank to Marietta and lynched him. A few months later, at a cross-burning on Stone Mountain, the Ku Klux Klan, which had split up after Reconstruction, reformed.
The Frank case unleashed rages that continue to exist in the American psyche and exposed a profound vein of anti-Semitism. (To address these rages, the Anti-Defamation League was established in 1913.) Any discussion of the matter is therefore challenging. There are still strong feelings about it, and while the majority now feels the plant supervisor was innocent, some object to what they see as a hasty acceptance of that fact. If Howard’s detectives want to prove Frank’s innocence, they must bear this in mind. The incident pitted Jews against non-Jews, whites against blacks, and rural areas against cities. No matter what happens, not everyone will be content.
However, Mary Phagan-Kean asserts on her official website that Leo Frank did indeed murder her great-aunt:
The Phagan family has no problem with anyone voicing their opinions about the Frank case, but we do demand that businesses and individual campaigns refrain from twisting the truth and the facts in order to utilize this issue for their own political ends. Every decade for more than a century brought “new historical evidence purporting to exonerate Leo Frank. The Phagan family has maintained since 1982 that we would come forward and request Frank’s exoneration if there was unambiguous proof to absolve him of this horrific act. Such historical proof, however, has never been found. Instead, there is a wealth of information, thorough documentation, illuminating archive material, and legal, judicial, and official records that only serve to bolster the guilty decision.
The Roswell Road entry and exit of the Interstate 75 Northwest Corridor Express toll lanes are indicated with a sign next to the overpass.
On the far right of the image above, where the state historical marker for Leo Frank’s lynching once stood, there is now a ramp for motor vehicles to enter and exit the Northwest Corridor Express toll lanes of Interstate 75.
The state historical marker honoring Leo Frank’s lynching was originally placed close to the intersection of Halsey Drive and Chert Road in Marietta, on the west side of Interstate 75. Eventually, it was relocated to a location on the north side of Roswell Road.