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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                       CHARLES CLAY


DATE:                                  NOVEMBER 6, 2007

LOCATION:                          ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Transcript (PDF)


Senator Charles Clay served in the Georgia State Senate for six terms from 1988 until his retirement in 2004.  Charles was not born in Georgia, but his family roots are in Cobb County.  As a child, Charles’ family moved frequently because his father was a career military office in the United States Army.  A statue of his great grandfather, Senator A.S. Clay, stands in Marietta Square in Cobb County.  His grandfather, Lucius D. Clay (1898-1978), born in Marietta, was a Military Governor of Germany.  He helped engineer the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 and assisted with Jewish displaced persons.    

In 1978, Charles Clay moved to Marietta, Georgia, where he learned of his great-uncle, Eugene Herbert Clay (1881-1923), and his involvement with the lynching of Leo Frank in 1915.  He had served as mayor of Marietta, Georgia, from 1911 to 1912 and acted as the state’s chief prosecuting officer.    


Charles Clay reflects on his ironic connection to the community in Marietta, Georgia.  He talks about returning to Marietta in 1978, where he learned by happenstance of his great uncle, Eugene Herbert Clay, and his involvement with the lynching of Leo Frank in 1915.  Charles talks about his great uncle, Lucius Clay, who assisted Jewish displaced persons as Military Governor of Berlin after World War II.  Charles reflects on his own career in law and his thoughts on the Leo Frank case.  

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