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Lee Street Riot: new marker being placed in downtown Alexandria

The marker will stand at the spot where the riot started in 1942 in front of the old Ritz Theater.
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 2:04 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A new marker is being placed in downtown Alexandria. The marker, which will be placed at 819 Lee Street, will honor African American soldiers.

A few months ago, we reported that a local historian, Michael Wynne, believes a number of African American soldiers were killed and buried in a mass grave that’s now home to Holly Oak Cemetery.

To uncover the truth, four nationally known researchers, including Dr. Douglas Bristol and Dr. David Holt from the University of Mississippi, brought a penetrating radar device to the cemetery.

For several hours, the experts took photos using the device, flagging any spots of interest for future reference. They found two areas where there could be a mass grave.

In honor of Black History Month, Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall unveiled the marker Friday, and announced where it will be placed.

Wynne says the marker will be a great way to honor those forgotten soldiers.

“This marker is not only a remembrance in honoring the soldiers who were injured and who may have died way back on January 10th, 1942. It’s also a remembrance to all of us, every time we see the marker, that we need to be better people, we need to be people who remember that we’re all equal, that we’re all together in this, and that we can do a better job with race relations.”

Michael Wynne, Central Louisiana Historian

The marker will stand at the spot where the riot started in 1942 in front of the old Ritz Theater. You should be able to see it next week.

Click here to learn more about the Lee Street Riot of 1942.

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