Herman Eugene Talmadge statue

Herman Eugene Talmadge statue, Atlanta, Georgia

Public Art : Herman Eugene Talmadge statue

Sculptor : © James Killian Spratt

Date : Dedicated on November 15th, 1990.

Description : Life size bronze of Herman Eugene Talmadge (dressed in suit and tie), standing with his right hand extended out, as if offering to shake your hand.

Location : Plaza Park, Northwest corner of Mitchell Street and Washington Street, Atlanta, Georgia.

Inscription :

HERMAN EUGENE TALMADGE
GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA 1948-1955
U.S. SENATOR FROM GEORGIA 1957-1981
THERE ARE NO SUBSTITUTES FOR
WORK, THRIFT AND SAVINGS


History of the Herman Eugene Talmadge Statue : The General Assembly commissioned the statue on March 3, 1988.

Who was Herman Eugene Talmadge ? : Herman (August 9, 1913 – March 21, 2002) was an American politician who served as Governor of Georgia briefly in 1947 and again from 1948 to 1955, and as a U.S. Senator from 1957 until 1981.Talmadge's entrance into Govenrorship was steeped in controversy. His father Eugene (who was then Governor of Georgia) was quite ill and not expected to live long into Governorship. After a little bit of research it was discovered that if he died before being sworn in the role of Governor could go to second or third place finishers. As Eugene was running unopposed, they quickly got write-in votes for Herman. Unfortunately  new Lieutenant Governor, Melvin E. Thompson, was about to throw a spanner into the works, when he declared he wanted to be Governor. Even though the Georgia legislature elected Herman to become Governor, Thompson appealed to the State supreme court. Now if you thought the situation couldn't get more complicated, you would be wrong. The ousted Governor, Ellis Gibbs Arnold, refused to turn over power until the mess was sorted out.  Herman was going to have none of that, so on January 15, 1947, both men served in the state Capitol as Governor. It got nasty and by the next day, Talmadge had taken control of the Governor's office by having the locks changed. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the legislature had violated the State Constitution by electing Herman governor and that Thompson was the legitimate Governor of Georgia. A special election was called in 1948 and Herman finally won a legitimate victory as Governor.Talmadge encouraged industry to move into Georgia and he was a staunch supporter of segregation. One of Senator Talmadge’s finest moments came when he was selected as a member of the Watergate Committee.

Rumor Has it : FBI had a file on Eugene Talmadge (Herman's father) in connection with racial incidents, including a lynching, in the town of Monroe.

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