Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Jack McBride of Fulton has been on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Celebration Commission of Missouri since 1993. This year the commission members received an award from the governor for the first time.
Gov. Jay Nixon gave the members, including McBride, an honorary medallion of appreciation, recognizing their years of service and dedication to King’s legacy of equal justice and nonviolence.
McBride said it made him feel good to be an award recipient.
“The long years working in the field of civil rights and being a part of the Dr. Martin Luther King program in the state is very rewarding,” he said.
Former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed McBride to the commission in 1993. McBride said the commission has worked in many ways throughout the years to spread King’s message to others by helping to organize events for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
“The commission has been serving a valuable service since it was begun 25 years ago. That’s to ensure the life and legacy of Dr. King will be remembered in Missouri,” said Scott Holste, press secretary for Nixon. “We appreciate the many hours the commission members put in over the course of the year to make these observances special.”
In October of 2010, the commission donated money toward the building of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“We have made a $5,000 contribution,” McBride said.
He added that the money came from commission members and agencies and companies throughout Missouri.
McBride and the other 25 state-appointed commission members attended Missouri’s annual recognition of King that was held Jan. 8 at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. According to McBride, Missouri’s celebration is the second largest of its kind, next to the one held in Atlanta.
Twenty-five years ago, McBride was featured in The Fulton Sun around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday for his civil rights work down through the years.
“In 1963, we protested segregation in schools and restaurants in a march on the state capitol in Jefferson City. We were authorized to conduct that march prior to Dr. King’s march on Washington, D.C., where he gave the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” McBride told the Sun.
McBride met King in person once in Atlanta and described him as a “sincere” man who “was willing to die for what he thought was right.” Because of his civil rights actions in Missouri, McBride was deputized for King’s funeral in Atlanta in 1968. McBride also serves as president of the Fulton chapter of the NAACP.
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