Well, if you attended high school in Jacksonville, Florida (of all places) after 1959 you probably did. How did a high school in Florida end up being named after a Confederate general from Tennessee? It turns out that when the school opened in 1959 various interest groups, including the United Daughters of the Confederacy, competed to win the chance to name the school. The UDC won and the school was named for Nathan B. Forrest. It was an ideal name for a school in the South at the height of “Massive Resistance” against a burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.
On November 3 the Duval County School Board will vote on whether to change the name of the school. Of course, not everyone is happy about such a possibility given their commitment to ensure that our youth model their lives on such upstanding Americans as Forrest:
Bodie Catlin, owner of a truck accessories retailer who speaks publicly about Confederate history, has been an outspoken supporter of keeping the school’s name and said Forrest was a man of his time who was “nice” to his slaves.
“They loved him,” he said. “The only people [in favor of the name change] are people from the North who don’t care about our heritage and some that think the whole war was fought over slavery.”
It’s always those damn northerners who are getting in the way. Stay tuned for further updates.