Stone Mountain

From Academic Kids

This article is about the Stone Mountain in Georgia, USA. For other peaks, see Stone Mountain (disambiguation).

Stone Mountain is a large granite mountain located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. It is the world's largest exposed piece of granite and the third-largest monolith, behind Mount Augustus and Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia. At its summit, the elevation is 1683 feet or 513 meters AMSL, about double that of the surrounding area.

It is well-known not only for its geological status, but also for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world. Three figures of the Confederate States of America are carved there: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. In the summer, a laser show has been projected on the carving nightly for 20 years.


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Stone Mountain

The carving on Stone Mountain
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The idea for a Confederate memorial carved at Stone Mountain began in 1909, when many Americans were celebrating the centennial of Lincoln's birth. Mrs. C. Helen Plane of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was the prime mover. She approached sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who had some preliminary models finished by 1917, but World War I distracted potential patrons. In 1923, with $250,000 largely raised by the Ku Klux Klan, but an unrealistic three year time limit imposed on the project, Borglum set to work, and by General Lee's birthday the following year, a formal unveiling of Lee's finished head was attended by a large and appreciative audience. Relations soured with Borglum and his contract was cancelled in February 1925. Before he left Georgia, Borglum smashed his preliminary models in rage. He went on to carve Mount Rushmore.

In April 1925 Augustus Lukeman was hired to complete the work, and three years later Borglum's finished work was dynamited from.the face of the mountain. Funds ran dry, however, and when Lukeman died in 1935, the uncompleted project had not been worked on for several years.

In 1963, the Stone Mountain project was revived and Walker Hancock was selected to complete the carving. The carving was finally completed in 1970 by Roy Faulkner, who later operated a museum (now closed) on nearby Memorial Drive commemorating the carving's history.

No description of Stone Mountain is complete that does not mention the central role in the creation of the Memorial that has been played by the Ku Klux Klan. Ku Klux Klan activities at Stone Mountain are deep-rooted. They began with the dramatic revival of the Klan, emboldened by D. W. Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation, which romanticized the original Klan's clandestine exploits in the post-Civil War era. On November 25, 1915, a group of robed and hooded men met at Stone Mountain, where they burned a cross, and "Colonel" William J. Simmons, a Methodist preacher, took an oath as "Grand Wizard" of the reborn Klan. The oath was administered by Nathan Bedford Forrest II, the grandson of the original Imperial Grand Wizard, ex-Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, and was witnessed by the owner of Stone Mountain, Samuel Venable. In October, 1923, Venable granted the KKK easement with perpetual right to hold celebrations as they desired.

From the start at Stone Mountain, the reborn Klan started to solicit memberships. Among them was Gutzon Borglum.

Because of their deep involvement with the early fund-raising and their increasing political clout in Georgia, Klansmen, along with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, were able to influence the ideology of the carving, and they strongly supported an explicit Confederate memorial. Ironically, the population of the city of Stone Mountain is now almost 70% African American.

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park surrounds the Confederate memorial with a golf course, bell carillon, airport etc. A 1994 press release boasted on the cover "Preserving and Enhancing a Natural Legacy."

The skylift takes visitors to the summit, where they can see downtown Atlanta, often Kennesaw Mountain, and on very clear days even the Appalachian Mountains. The short broadcast tower at the top transmits three non-commercial stations: FM radio station WABE 90.1MHz (NPR), television station WGTV channel 8 (GPTV/PBS), and weatheradio station KEC80 on 162.550MHz.

Stone Mountain Park is a Georgia state park, but one of three which is privately-run. The Silver Dollar City company currently has the contract to operate the park and its amusement park rides. Some events for the 1996 Summer Olympics were held at the park. [1] ( [2] (

On September 16, 2003, a small airplane crashed around dusk into the back of the mountain, a remote cliff area which is not normally accessible. One person was confirmed dead, apparently the pilot, who reportedly had engine trouble, and may have been trying to reach the airport in the park. Firefighters had to take the skylift up and then rappel more than halfway down to the site of the wreckage. The only other known crash on the mountain was in 1957.

Stone Mountain was the place of discovery of the rare Georgia oak, several specimens of which can be easily found along the walk-up trail and in the woods around the base of the mountain.

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Former: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium | Loew's Grand Theatre | Omni Coliseum | SciTrek | Rich's

de:Stone Mountain

As a witness to the crash of the single engine airplane. I find it very hard to believe that the pilot had engine trouble. When the airplane flew across my neighborhood (that directly borders the rear side of the park) it was so low that we could not see it because of the trees. The airplane was moving fast, and the engine was strong and loud up to the moment of impact. The impact with the mountain was extremely loud and followed by a large fire that could be easily seen. Additionally, the private airport that was next to Stone Mountain Park had been closed for 3 years and had a line of telephone poles was installed down the runway by the new owners.


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