Last weekend, Kevin and I stopped off in Dublin, Georgia on the way to see his nephew. Turns out, there’s more to this little Middle Georgia town that I first thought.
About Dublin, GA
Because I know you’re wondering, Dublin, Georgia is named after Dublin, Ireland because the Middle Georgia terrain reportedly reminded the Irish immigrants of their native country. Not sure I see it, but maybe in 1812 it did. Because of its Irish heritage, Dublin celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a month-long celebration, and the town is decked out in shamrocks all year long.
Downtown Dublin is full of historical buildings and landmarks, including Theatre Dublin, an Art Deco performing arts center, and the Dublin Carnegie Library, one of only three surviving Carnegie Libraries in the state of Georgia still in its original form.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park
As we were driving through Dublin, we saw the colorful mural of Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park and the giant sign proclaiming that Dublin was “Where The Dream Began,” and we were like, is it really? We did a u-turn and parked next to the monument park to see what it was all about, and yes, Dublin is where MLK made his first public speech at the church across the street from the park.
The small Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park is a quiet space sheltered by that large sign. On the back wall is a colorful mural painted by Georgia artist Corey Barksdale along with a sculpture in the center of the park by the same artist depicting silhouettes with outstretched arms entitled Freedom Ascension.
The park is included on the Georgia’s Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Trail and contains an audio station where you can hear MLK’s first speech given in 1944, an interview with a local leader, and MLK retelling his experiences in Dublin.
First African Baptist Church
The First African Baptist Church across the street from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park is where MLK made his first public speech. He was just 14 years old when he delivered his speech “The Negro and the Constitution” as part of the Colored Elks Clubs of Georgia’s state convention in 1944.
On his trip back to Atlanta after giving the speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. was asked to relinquish his bus seat and stand in the back of the bus. MLK discusses the affect that day in Dublin had on his future in a 1965 interview, which you can listed to at the audio station in the memorial park.
After learning something new about MLK, we continued on into Downtown Dublin where we ate dinner at Deano’s Italian, named the Best Pizzeria in Georgia by USA Today, a Top Pizza Hot Spot by Cooking with Paula Deen, and many other accolades. Deano’s is home to the only imported Italian wood oven in Georgia, giving its pizza an authentic taste. We tried all four of their wood-oven pizzas, and we can recommend every single one of them!
What’s your favorite thing about Dublin, GA? Let me know in the comments!