Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


March 5, 2014

4,000 march, remember in Frankfort

FRANKFORT — This time the welcome was warmer; still cold, but the sun shone; and 50 years of progress was marked.

It was different, cold and rainy, and the welcome by the white establishment just as chilly 50 years ago when 10,000 marched on the state Capitol seeking passage of a public accommodations law.

Many who were there 50 years ago weren’t Wednesday – but some were and they came to remember, to celebrate the progress of civil rights, but also to advocate for passage of another measure, this one to restore automatically the voting rights of felons who’ve completed their sentences.

Roughly 4,000 converged on the Capitol to commemorate the march 50 years ago led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy and Jackie Robinson. When King spoke, a cold sleet fell and someone stood holding an umbrella over him.

Then Gov. Ned Breathitt wasn’t among them, staying in his office where after the march, King, Abernathy, Robinson and others asked him to push passage of the public accommodations legislation.

The bill, sponsored by Norbert Blume, Arthur Johnson and J.E. Smith never got out of committee that year. But two years later, the bill passed with Gov. Breathitt’s backing and Kentucky became the first southern state to pass civil rights legislation.

Karen A. Coleman of Louisville was there Wednesday, singing “Lift Every Voice” with others in the crowd, holding a copy of The Courier-Journal with a photo from 50 years ago. There she was, the 8-year-old little girl huddling against the cold by hugging her aunt, Evelyn Evans.

Raoul Cunningham, President of the Kentucky NAACP, and master of ceremonies Wednesday, was there the last time. Wednesday, he thanked Frankfort Mayor Bill May for the help the city provided with planning the event.

“Frankfort has done everything and Mayor May has done everything to make us welcome,” Cunningham told the crowd. “What a difference 50 years make.”

Text Only
Local News
Local Sports
College Basketball
CNHI News Service Originals
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Newspaper National Network
SEC Zone