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Local Civil Rights Activists Honored

todayFebruary 3, 2014 19

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Local civil rights trailblazers were honored on the eve of the dedication of the L.B.J. M.L.K. memorial.

People gathered at LBJ
Photo by: Tara Pohlmeyer

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Seventy-three San Marcos civil rights activists were recognized at a public reception on Sunday as part of the celebrations stemming from the newly dedicated L.B.J. M.L.K. memorial. The Crossroads Project team has been working for years to create a memorial at the only place where the roads of L.B.J. and M.L.K. cross. The memorial and events surrounding the dedication honor the legacies of President Lyndon B Johnson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and their civil rights legislation.

San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero said that it is important to remember the sacrifices that so many people have made to help contribute to the community.

“This event was just recognition and acknowledgement of people; local people and local families that have helped lead that change, and help be a part of the transition and the community that we have today.”
– Mayor Daniel Guerrero

One trailblazer who was honored was Helen Jackson Franks, who was one of the five women who integrated Texas State University, then Southwest Texas State, in 1963.

“I feel so wonderful, it was a pleasure and an honor for me to be recognized for something that I have done to accomplish so many goals that have happened up there at Texas State.”
– Helen Franks

Doctor Joanne Smith was also honored with a trailblazer award for being the first African American vice president at Texas State University in 2005. She said it was truly amazing to see the history of the community.

“It’s great to know the history and to meet the people that really make Texas State what it is and make the city the way it is. I’m kind of overwhelmed, it was really pretty cool.”
– Joanne Smith

U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett spoke at the reception honoring the trailblazers. He said the L.B.J. M.L.K. memorial is a great step for San Marcos and will draw people from around the state.

“It’s a reflection of how the city has grown and progressed, overcome the painful past of Jim Crow Laws and interference with the opportunity for too many people. I think it’s also a recognition of the unique history of this city.”
– Lloyd Doggett

The L.B.J. M.L.K. Memorial was dedicated on Monday morning January 20, and is located at the intersection of L.B.J. and M.L.K..

Tara Pohlmeyer. KTSW News

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