A Mulberry Summer
On July 25, 1946, four black citizens, two male and two female, were executed by a mob at Moore's Ford Bridge over the Appalachee river in Walton County, Georgia. Twenty to 25 white men armed with pistols, rifles, shotguns and even a machine gun shot them hundreds of times in broad daylight.
Incredibly, no one was ever charged with the murders. "The best people in town won't talk," said then Major William E. Spence, of the Georgia State Patrol. The murders were never solved, but the current Governor of Georgia has ordered a new investigation.
That tragedy really happened.
A Mulberry Summer did not. A series of articles about the actual killings appeared in the Walton Tribune published in Monroe, Georgia, and they became the inspiration for this tale. The question was how and why such a senseless and brutal incident could ever have occurred. There were no factual answers then, and there are none in this story. There never was a Birdie Lee Johnson, or a Mattie Lou Herndon, or a Judge Spencer Tolliver, or a Billy James Bradley, but you may have known people like them.