For thousands of years, Stone Mountain has been a place of ceremonial and administrative importance to the Creek Nation and once served as a neutral zone for the Creek and Cherokee Nations to meet, coordinate, and offer each other help from colonial invaders. In 1821, under the Treaty of Indian Springs, the U.S. Government and State of Georgia seized the mountain from the Creek Nation and in 1845, with the protection of the State of Georgia, the new town of Stone Mountain was settled by whites. Beginning early in the twentieth century, the second incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan, inspired by the film Birth of a Nation, began using Stone Mountain as a meeting place and hub of white supremacist activity.
Today, Stone Mountain is a national park located in the city of Stone Mountain, GA, and has been state owned since 1958. Despite this, its long history as a site of organization and of symbolic importance for white nationalists continues. Legally, the mountain is a confederate monument, and is marked by a massive carving of Confederate generals — an effort first initiated by a Klan member and later completed by the state to combat the civil rights movement. For over a century, the KKK has held rallies and meetings at the mountain. Last year, in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, SC, Neo-Confederates rallied at Stone Mountain in support of the Confederate symbols.