In November 1979, at an anti-Klan rally in Greensboro the Klan showed up -- and then massacred five of the protesters. This led some years ago to a truth and reconciliation commission in Greensboro and now a debate about whether Greensboro should put up a historical marker. Some of the city commissioners spoke against it because they object to the word "massacre" as part of the proposed language. According to the Greensboro News and Record, one council members said, "I think if the wording was changed to ‘shootout’ or ‘shooting’ it would be closer to what actually happened ... The marker can’t tell the whole story but the word ‘massacre’ gives you the wrong idea about what actually happened that day." So maybe there's a compromise on the way to "save history" as the News and Record phrases it. Or, as another council member said, "I just don’t think it’s a positive for Greensboro." That is about the best explanation you can find for why there isn't yet a marker there.
In fact, the city's already done a great job of erasing that history. Some years back when I was visiting Greensboro I went looking for the site of the massacre. It's hard to find because the roads there have been redrawn. What I was able to find is the cemetery marker for those killed, which is in a cemetery a few blocks away.
Of course I believe that a historical marker is more than in order. This is going to a vote on February 3. For those of you thinking of attending, the Greensboro City Council agenda for February 3 is here. And here is an article that puts the debate into more context. The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has promulgated extensive guidelines regarding placement of new historical markers, which are available here.
Update: the city council voted 7-2 to approve the marker.
H/t Eric Fink.