I LOVE This One  

Posted by Linda Keilbart Scanlan in , ,

Thank you Michael! And may I say "Amen" to the citizens who took their county back. I would not like to take up arms against fellow Americans. I love the idea of the all GI ballot though. Maybe something in the future to think about as we start our recommendations for the 2010 elections?

Battle of Athens, Tennessee, 1946! GI's take up arms against corruption!

* Posted by Michael LeKites on April 23, 2009 at 9:11pm in United States Military
* Back to United States Military Discussions

Wondering how many here have heard of this story. I am sure it was not taught in schools.
GI's coming home from WWII took up arms against a corrupt political machine in Athens Tennessee. Here are some excerpts from the story and I am providing two links. American Heritage and Guns and Ammo.
Excerpts: "On August 1-2, 1946, some Americans, brutalized by their county government, used armed force as a last resort to overturn it. These Americans wanted honest open elections. For years they had asked for state or federal election monitors to prevent vote fraud (forged ballots, secret ballot counts, and intimidation by armed sheriff's deputies) by the local political boss. They got no help."
" These Americans' absolute refusal to knuckle under had been hardened by service in World War II. Having fought to free other countries from murderous regimes, they rejected vicious abuse by their county government."
At the end of 1945, some 3,000 battle-hardened veterans returned to McMinn County; the GIs held Cantrell politically responsible for Mansfield's doings. Early in 1946, some newly returned ex-GIs decided to challenge Cantrell politically by offering an all-ex-GI, non-partisan ticket. They promised a fraud-free election, stating in ads and speeches that there would be an honest ballot count and reform of county government."
" At a rally, a GI speaker said, "The principles that we fought for in this past war do not exist in McMinn County. We fought for democracy because we believe in democracy, but not the form we live under in this county" (Daily Post-Athenian, 17 June 1946, p.1 ). At the end of July 1946, 159 McMinn County GIs petitioned the FBI to send election monitors. There was no response. The Department of Justice had not responded to McMinn County residents' complaints of election fraud in 1940, 1942 and 1944."
Otto Kennedy, not an ex-GI himself but a political adviser to the veterans, entered the office and announced that Cantrell had posted armed guards at each precinct. They all knew that this move was in preparation for the 4:00 P.M. poll closings when the ballot boxes would be moved to the jail for counting. A small group of the veterans demanded an armed mobilization and called for a leader. Buttram declined. So did Kennedy, but he offered the rear of his Essankay Garage and Tire Shop across the street as a meeting hall."

"The group crossed the street, held a meeting, and agreed that those who did not have weapons should get them and return as quickly as possible."

This entry was posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 at Friday, April 24, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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