Girl Scouts lobby to rename Georgia bridge

ATLANTA (AP) — Hundreds of Girl Scouts from across Georgia gathered inside the state Capitol Tuesday, offering cookies and smiles as they sought to convince lawmakers to get their founder’s name affixed to a Savannah bridge named for a white segregationist.

The bridge may bear former Gov. Eugene Talmadge’s name, but Rep. Ron Stephens said he recently learned the state legislature never officially named the bridge. The Department of Transportation never gave it an official name, nor did lawmakers. Legislation to do so passed the House in 1991, but never passed the Senate, he said.

Buoyed by this technicality, Stephens, a Savannah Republican, introduced a bill to name the bridge after Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts in the coastal city more than a century ago.

Stephens said his proposal has more than 50 legislative supporters and likely will get more once others learn about the technicality.

Naming the bridge after Low would be especially fitting, as scouts frequently hold “bridging ceremonies” by walking across bridges when they graduate to their next rank, said Sue Else, CEO of Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.