Mapping the Lost Cause in 1939 Atlanta

Author: David S. Bennett
Faculty Mentor: n/a

Abstract:

My project digitally maps the 1936 Lost Cause revival which centered upon the growing popularity of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind in Atlanta. Set to unveil during the famed 1939 premier of David Selznick’s film interpretation, Wilbur Kurtz, a local artist and self-styled Civil War expert, organized, planned and aided in the construction of over 112 historical markers designed to call tourist’s attention to key locations that Kurtz argued were integral to the city’s experiences during the Civil War. By correlating his marker locations against census records, my goal is to document in a concrete way how white southerners profited off of this new vision of the Civil War, both by funneling tourists to white businesses and also by adding historical value to white neighborhoods.
Research Types: Faculty/Staff

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2 Responses

    1. Thanks for the comment. I can honestly state that it is ultimately my goal to find that correlation if it exists. By comparing this first round of historical markers to both census data and the 1938 Home Owners map, it will show a clear pattern where Kurtz found historical value within the city. These markers would ultimately persist and help influence the new series of markers build in the late 1950s.

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