It looks like Liverpool’s famed Penny Lane will be keeping its name.
Following an avalanche of controversy stemming from a museum press officer’s assertion that the street — which was immortalized in a song by The Beatles — had been named in honor of James Penny, an infamous Liverpool slave trader, the International Slavery Museum on Monday announced researchers have determined the story isn’t true. “We have concluded that the comprehensive research available to us now demonstrates that there is no historical evidence linking Penny Lane to James Penny,” a statement released by the museum reads.
Historian Ralph MacDonald says Penny Lane was actually christened “Pennies Lane” in the 1840s, almost half a century after Penny’s death. While it’s unclear when the name was shortened, MacDonald says it’s unlikely it was changed to honor Penny.
Should all U.S. streets named “Columbus” be changed? Should some of memories of the past be kept around to remind us not to make the same mistakes again?