DeKalb County

WSB-TV 75: Looking back at coverage of Stone Mountain

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News is celebrating the 75th anniversary of WSB-TV and looking back at some of the iconic coverage through the years.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot is looking back at Stone Mountain and some of its many controversies.

Stone Mountain is one the most iconic symbols of Georgia, but its history is shrouded in controversy.

It is officially designed by the state as a Confederate Memorial Site, which is something some lawmakers are trying to end.

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WSB-TV was there from the moment the state of Georgia bought Stone Mountain and turned it into a Confederate memorial park.

The iconic carving, which is the largest of its kind in the world, features Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

When WSB-TV talked to the workers who carved the mountain in 1964, they were understandably proud of their accomplishment.

With the carving and Confederate memorial site designation came controversy.

We were there in 1973 as members of the Ku Klux Klan rallied at the mountain as it did almost every year.


Before Billy Mitchell became a state lawmaker, he sat on the Stone Mountain City Council.

We would have the Ku Klux Klan actually participating in our annual parade. It was something that was disgusting back then, and even more so now,” he remembered.

Sheffield Hale is the President and CEO of the Atlanta History Center. It just produced a documentary on the real history of Stone Mountain and its ties to racism.

Hale says he’s seen a rise in people pushing back against Confederate imagery, including protests against the Confederate battle flag that WSB-TV covered in 2020.

He hopes that people on both sides can put away their emotion and have open and honest discussion about the past and future of the mountain.

Mitchell just introduced a bill to remove the Confederate imagery from the park and let nature run its course and slowly wear away the carving. That bill will have an uphill battle in the legislature.

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