Ed Johnson Memorial Project
On March 19, 1906, a 24-year-old black man named Ed Johnson was murdered by a lynch mob in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, as he awaited execution for a crime he did not commit. His murder occurred on the Walnut Street Bridge, an iconic walking bridge over the Tennessee River in the heart of downtown, and his last words were "God bless you all, I am an innocent man."
Almost 100 years after his murder, Ed Johnson was cleared of the crime by Judge Douglas A. Meyers.
In 2016 a group of citizens, focused on racial reconciliation and the promotion of diversity and inclusion in Chattanooga, gathered to create a memorial to Ed Johnson. The goal of the memorial is to formally recognize this tragic yet important part of Chattanooga's collective history.
Through the creation of an Ed Johnson memorial, Chattanooga commits to never forget our racial past -- no matter how horrendous -- while we build a brighter, more inclusive future for our city.
"By recognizing even the worst moments of our history, we can move forward - charting the course for a fairer city." -- Mayor Andy Berke