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George Bright Papers

Identifier: Mss 379

Scope and Contents

Researchers studying the George Bright Papers will gain insight into the life of George Bright and the Temple Bombing trial. His papers contain correspondence, journals, sheet music, sketches, identification cards, and newspapers.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1951 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

George Michael Bright was an engineer and amateur mathematician and inventor. Born in Kingsport, Tennessee on August 15, 1923 and raised in Rochester, New York, he invented a reflecting telescope that enabled people to look deep into their own inner eye and Grip Rights, a patented hand exerciser. Soon after World War II, Bright moved to Atlanta and worked at the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills. He quickly began to circulate his strong opinions on race relations. In 1946, at the age of 22, Bright affiliated with the hate group the Columbians. Over the next few years, Bright became aware of Rabbi Jacob Rothschild’s presence in Atlanta as the sermons he delivered were often focused on integration and civil rights. Rabbi Rothschild was the Pittsburgh-born rabbi of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, also known as the Temple, the largest Jewish congregation in Atlanta at that time.

Soon after the bombing of the Temple on the morning of October 12, 1958, George Bright was questioned and taken into custody along with four other suspected co-conspirators. They were formally indicted by a grand jury and stood trial in December. Before the trail ended, Bright made a six-hour long statement to the jury claiming that he was being persecuted for his beliefs in segregation. He submitted an alibi of visiting a Mrs. Marilyn Craig the night of the bombing and that he harbored no hatred of Jews – having served alongside them in the war and dated a Jewish girl. The trail ended in a hung jury.

The prosecution prepared for a second trial in January. This time, Bright made only a fifteen-minute statement to the jury. The jury deliberated for a couple hours and then declared Bright innocent of the charges.

George Bright died in Atlanta on August 24, 2001.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



George Bright was accused of committing the Temple Bombing. After two trials, he was acquitted of the crime. His papers include correspondence, journals, sheet music, sketches, identification cards, and newspapers.

Separated Materials

Oversize materials removed to oversized collection and artifacts removed to artifact collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Jeremy Katz in February 2017. Entered into ArchivesSpace with additional revisions by Lindsay Resnick in July 2020.

George Bright Papers, Mss 379
Jeremy Katz
February 2017
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States