John Seigenthaler Bridge dedicated in downtown Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

John Seigenthaler Bridge dedicated in downtown Nashville

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John Seigenthaler John Seigenthaler
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Nashville landmark you may use every day has a new name and quite a story to go with it.

The Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge was officially renamed the John Seigenthaler Bridge on Tuesday.

The name is well-known to longtime residents as Seigenthaler rose to the highest ranks at The Tennessean newspaper.

But something that happened in 1954 when he was a new reporter at the paper made the bridge and the naming ceremony especially significant.

Seigenthaler pulled a suicidal man to safety.

"Sixty years ago, a man was so distraught that he climbed on this very bridge with the intent to kill himself. John Seigenthaler's bosses at The Tennessean sent him to cover a jump, but John became the story when he reached out and grabbed the man before he jumped," said Mayor Karl Dean.

Seigenthaler was surrounded by his family at Tuesday's naming ceremony and a who's who of politicians and city leaders, including Gov. Bill Haslam.

He called the tribute one of the finest days of his life.

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