Klan-Nazi shooting 1979

Ambulance and police work on a dead Workers Viewpoint Organization member on Nov. 3, 1979. The Workers Viewpoint Organization changed its name to the Communist Workers Party. 

GREENSBORO — The dedication for a controversial highway marker for the "Greensboro Massacre" has been set for May 24.

Five people were killed in a confrontation between the Ku Klux Klan and the Communist Workers Party on Nov. 3, 1979 at the Morningside Homes public housing complex. Eleven people were injured in the shootout at Carver and Everitt streets. 

In December, the N.C. Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee — a group of 10 historians — unanimously approved a marker to commemorate the event.

But some Greensboro City Council members balked at the use of "massacre" in describing the events of that day, preferring the use of “shooting” or “shoot-out.”

Although the state committee didn't need the City Council's approval, it indicated it would not place the marker without it.

After weeks of controversy over the wording, the City Council voted 7-2  on Feb. 3 to approve the marker’s language to include "Greensboro Massacre."

The historical marker will be dedicated at 4:15 p.m. May 24 at McConnell and Willow roads, said Ansley Wegner, a research historian with the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program.

The Beloved Community Center is holding a 3 p.m. dedication service at New Light Missionary Baptist Church, 1105 Willow Road.

After the roadside unveiling, there will be a reception and reflection event at the church, Wegner said.

Contact Kenwyn Caranna at 373-7004, and follow @kcarannaNR on Twitter.

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