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Monday, February 15, 2010 - 1:04pm

Richmond Hill Debates Ford Legacy

Updated: 4 years ago.
Richmond Hill is known as the "Henry Ford City." But some residents want that changed. (photo Library of Congress)

Coastal Georgia's Richmond Hill is once again debating the historical legacy of one of its most famous residents.

Automotive pioneer Henry Ford is credited with saving Richmond Hill near Savannah.

In the 1920's, he had a home there and brought in doctors to quash a malaria outbreak.

At the same time, he published anti-Semitic tracts and received Adolph Hitler's highest civilian honor.

Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler wants to change the city's motto.

"I'm not trying to say take Henry Ford out of the city, but I think there are ways other than calling it the 'Henry Ford City,'" Fowler says. "I had thought that maybe we could go into changing it to maybe 'A Historical City' or something along that line."

Fowler wants the references changed on signs leading into the city, but the idea is being opposed by residents who worry about extreme political correctness.

This isn't the first time the city's tackled Ford's controversial legacy. Ten years ago, it surfaced when Richmond Hill erected a Ford statue.