Backwards Plaque.
"Mmmph, mmph, mmph." Reversed plaque communicates directly with a wall of bricks.

Backwards Plaque Shuns the KKK

Field review by the editors.

Pulaski, Tennessee

On Christmas Eve 1865, six Confederate veterans met in Pulaski and formed the Klu Klux Klan. In 1917 the spot was marked with a bronze plaque that read, "Ku Klux Klan organized in this, the law office of Judge Thomas M. Jones, December 24, 1865."

Backwards Plaque.

According to local lore, KKK supporters in Pulaski wanted the plaque because they felt that the town had been overlooked in D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation, a 1915 film that championed the Klan.

Things stayed that way until 1986. That's when the KKK started returning to Pulaski every January to parade to the plaque, which was their way to spite the new Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

This angered Donald and Marguerite Massey, who owned the building that held up the plaque. Marguerite recalled that Klan members would bow to the plaque, and even kiss it. Donald felt that the KKK's antics disgraced the town. So in August 1989 the Masseys unbolted the plaque, flipped it to face the wall, screwed the bolts back in, and then welded them in place. The words commemorating the Klan were hidden. All that could be seen was the plaque's blank back side.

This, the Masseys said, was better than simply throwing the plaque away. It showed that Pulaski had turned its back on the KKK.

The plaque has remained that way since then.

Backwards Plaque Shuns the KKK

Address:
205 W. Madison St., Pulaski, TN
Directions:
Plaque is on the south side of W. Madison St. between S. 2nd and S. 3rd Sts. The plaque is bolted to the wall of a one-story white building just to the right of a three-story brick building.
Admission:
Free
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June 23, 2017

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