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Confederate Past: Uproar Over Changing Park Names

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The legacy of onetime Confederate cavalryman and slave trader Nathan Bedford Forrest has sparked new controversy here in Tennessee that spans from Memphis to the state capital building.

The Memphis City Council this week fast-tracked efforts to rename the city’s Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, where a statue of Forrest stands and where the general is buried.

Reporter Eleanor Boudreau of public radio station WKNO in Memphis the council’s vote came in reaction to moves here in Nashville.

“What happened this week is that two state legislators introduced a bill that would make it illegal to rename any park christened for someone who fought in the war. Now, the Memphis City Council, it takes them six weeks to pass an ordinance, and they were worried they wouldn’t win what they called the ‘legislative foot race.’”

Boudreau says that , even if the park is eventually renamed, no one is suggesting that Forrest’s remains be moved from their resting place.

Two other Memphis parks with confederate related names are also likely to get new titles.