LEESBURG, GA (WALB)- In the summer of 1963, a young group of girls were arrested during a march in Americus.
Although the 15 girls didn’t know it at the time, they would go down in history — known now as “The Leesburg Stockade Girls.”
WALB went to that stockade where they were held 56 years ago.
Four walls and a few windows — that’s all Dr. Shirley Green Reese, one of the girls placed in the stockade, knew for two months.
Now, she sits before it in awe.
It was 1963. Protests and marches for civil rights swarmed the south.
The voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, inspired Reese and 14 other girls to march to segregated theater in Americus.
The stockade is where they would end up — some in fear of never escaping.
Reese found a piece of hope when a photographer came by to see them.
“I said’ well take my picture,' and that’s when I start smiling and that’s why people were so weary about why are we smiling in jail,” she said.
It was in a photo, Reese pointed out, that would place the Stockade Girls in history.
It’s something Reese wants the world to know helped shaped the south.
Documentaries and movies about the Stockade Girls’ story are in the works.
Reese said it’s important for everyone to know what happened back then, especially the people living in this community, surrounded by the progress made in the past 53 years.