The Terre Haute Facing Injustice project will hold an event to unveil a new historical marker at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 at the North end of Fairbanks Park adjacent to the south river bridge and across the street from the old jail.
The Terre Haute Facing Injustice project was launched by the Greater Terre Haute NAACP branch and is part of the national Community Remembrance Project of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) based in Montgomery, Alabama.
EJI's Community Remembrance Project is part of their campaign to recognize the victims of lynching by collecting soil from lynching sites, erecting historical markers, and creating a national memorial that acknowledges the horrors of racial injustice. Terre Haute community members joined this initiative with a goal of understanding past injustices in order to promote healing and build a stronger and more just community for the future. Vigo County is leading the way in Indiana as the first county to participate in this nationwide project.
The historical marker to be unveiled remembers the lynching of Terre Haute resident George Ward from the Wabash River Bridge in 1901. Descendants of George Ward will take part in the event, which is free and open to all members of the community. The event will include music, guest speakers, and opportunities to learn and engage.
Educational activities will begin about 30 minutes before the ceremony starts at 3 p.m. The program will include reading of Indiana Senate Resolution 72, which memorializes Ward.
More than 4,400 lynchings of black men and women in the U.S. took place between 1877 and 1950, including at least 18 documented in Indiana.
The Facing Injustice project launched publicly on March 1, 2020, with a soil collection event. At the soil collection ceremony, soil that had been collected from the West side of the Wabash River where Ward was lynched was placed in three jars by Ward family members and guests. One jar is on display in the Vigo County Historical Museum, one is now on display at the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, and one has been given to the Ward family.
To learn more about the project, visit www.facinginjustice.org.