News reports of the time show that Nathan Bedford Forrest monument in Memphis has been racist propaganda since the day it was unveiled
The newspaper reported the air “was soft and throaty and Southern” that Monday afternoon in May 1904, Memphis in May, at the unveiling and dedication of a bronze and marble monument to “the South’s great hero.”
The afternoon began with a parade as “old veterans in gray” marched east down Monroe behind the Stars and Stripes and the Stars and Bars, behind military bands playing “Dixie”.
They marched with ladies of the Confederate Memorial Association and Mounted Sons of Confederate Veterans, and with carriages carrying the son, grandson and other descendants of “that dashing and intrepid warrior.”
Tens of thousands of Memphians and “citizens from seven states” lined the parade route and filled the park at Union and Manassas, surrounding the grandstand, assembled dignitaries and the shrouded 21-1/2-foot tall statue.
As an eight-year-old girl removed the Confederate colors that covered the statue, revealing “the heroic figure of the wizard of the saddle, a vast crowd gave voice to loud cheers.”
The bishop asked for God’s blessing, “and in thy name we dedicate this monument to the memory of our great, our honored dead” and his “invincible courage, unselfish heroism and exalted patriotism.”
The general, the mayor, and the U.S. senator praised his honor and valor, his chivalry and charity, his devotion to his widowed