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REUBEN WARE SR.  -  LESTER GOES TO LUDOWICI            DOWNLOAD

Here's a record about Governor Lester Maddox and his efforts to reign in corruption in the small town of Ludowici.  No, it doesn't really have all that much to do with Atlanta other than the fact that Atlanta is where the Governor of the state lives, but I think it's worth devoting a little space to here on the Atlanta Time Machine nevertheless.  See below for more information.

       

The article below appeared in the Rome News-Tribune on April 22, 1970.

Ludowici, a tiny town about 50 miles from Savannah in southeast Georgia, was the site of a notorious speed trap in the 1950s and 60s. Despite being pretty far off the beaten path, Ludowici saw a great deal of traffic as many motorists passed through on their way to or from Florida in the days before the completion of I-95.

As early as 1953, the American Automobile Association had denounced the town for the speed trap that operated there.  The police force in the town was so crooked that in 1963 Governor Carl Sanders suspended the town's powers of arrest.  In addition to Ludowici's speed trap (featuring a traffic light that went instantly from green to red), the town was also the site of numerous "clip joints featuring rigged gambling operations and crooked mechanics.

By 1970, Governor Lester Maddox's feud with the corrupt town made national news when he ordered the placement of billboards (see photo below) on US 301 on the way into town warning motorists of the corruption ahead.  This TIME magazine story was published in April 1970.

The singer of Lester Goes To Ludowici, Reuben Ware Sr., died in 2001 in Barnesville according to this obituary, which also mentions that Reuben Ware Jr. lives in Atlanta.

PHOTO:  VANISHING GEORGIA

The article below appeared in the St. Petersburg News on July 5, 1970.

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