Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Southern trees, strange fruit -- remembered

Cornell Hillel, plus 'several university departments,' have launched a week-long series of events in honor of Leo Frank, who graduated from the institution in 1906. Frank, as you will recall, was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan in 1913 in a trial clouded by anti-Semitism and hanged by a lynch mob after his death sentence was commuted to life two years later. His entire case -- which marked the revival of the KKK, the establishment of the ADL and which still haunts parts of Georgia -- was thrown back into the limelight last year with the publication of Steve Oney's absolutely fascinating book, And the Dead Shall Rise. Oney gives an exhaustive account of the murder, trial and its aftermath, and exposes for the first time some of the extremely prominent names behind the lynch mob. He does not prove beyond doubt who actually did commit the murder, but provides a more-than-likely alternative. If you haven't read it yet, do.

(Cross-posted to Bloghead)


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