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Charging doughboy.

Charging Doughboy

Field review by the editors.

Memphis, Tennessee

A lot of parks have World War I monuments. Some even have statues, usually of life-size Doughboy soldiers standing at attention, gun at his side, looking respectable and reassuring. This doughboy is nothing like that. It's the size of a giant, posed as if at the rim of a trench, its deadly bayonet thrust forward as if ready to disembowel everything in its path. Unveiled on September 21, 1926, the statue was condemned in the newspapers by a local art teacher, who called it "the attack of a vicious beast."

The bad press didn't stop Memphis from printing postcards of the statue as an attraction, which technically was a memorial to the World War I dead of Memphis and Shelby County. Surprisingly for its time, it was sculpted by a woman, Nancy Hahn, and a plaque on its base notes that the now-green copper statue was made "from pennies that were collected by school children."

Charging Doughboy

Overton Park

Veterans Plaza Drive, Memphis, TN
One of several monuments in Veterans Plaza in Overton Park. Park, then walk north into the Plaza. The Doughboy will be on the right, the biggest statue on the Plaza.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of Memphis BelleStatue of Memphis Belle, Memphis, TN - < 1 mi.
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Giant Wind ChimeGiant Wind Chime, Memphis, TN - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Elvis's High School, Memphis, TN - 2 mi.

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