An original photograph of the Leo Frank lynching.
(Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History).
Leo Frank was convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, a 13-year old employee at a factory where Mr. Frank was the superintendant.
The case attracted national attention with many deeming the conviction as a travesty. Within Georgia, the outside criticism was the catalyst for an upsurge of anti-Semitism and hatred towards Frank, who was Jewish. After a judge commuted Frank’s sentence from capital punishment to life in prison, a group of men who anointed themselves the Knights of Mary Phagen kidnapped Frank and lynched him in Phagan’s hometown of Marietta, GA on August 17th, 1915.
The lynching of Leo Frank led to the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan.