Savannah City Council to vote on removing the name of Calhoun Square

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 3:26 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A reminder of a past many that people are not proud of may soon be removed.

The Mayor of Savannah says the city council will vote later this month to remove the name of former slave owner John C. Calhoun from a downtown square.

A coalition has actually been heading the effort to change the name of Calhoun square for years. Mayor Van Johnson says the city is trying to do their part to get Calhoun’s named removed from this square since Calhoun was a slave holder and defender of slavery.

John C. Calhoun is a former U.S. Vice President, but he had no connection to Savannah, according to Mayor Johnson.

Johnson says in order to change the name of the square, they have to get signatures from the businesses that surround the square.

He says to speed up the process of getting rid of the name, the city council will go ahead and make their vote to remove the current name instead of waiting until after they pick a new name for the square.

“He was also a chief architect of the political system that allowed slavery to persist. Regardless of what the square is named or renamed, one of our squares should not be named in honor of a man like John C. Calhoun,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

There is a coalition working to rename the square after Susan King Taylor, the first Black nurse and teacher of freed slaves in the nation.

There are 19 property owners near the square and the coalition received 51% of their signatures to name the square after Taylor this May.

Mayor Johnson says the square will be unnamed until a new name is chosen. When a new name is picked, the mayor says there will be information in the square on who John C. Calhoun was and why he should not be honored by people in Savannah.

The city council is expected to vote on whether on not to remove Calhoun’s name from this square during their October 27th meeting.