Commemoration marks historic 1964 March on Frankfort - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Commemoration marks historic 1964 March on Frankfort

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A rally in Frankfort marked the 50th anniversary of a civil rights march with Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson. A rally in Frankfort marked the 50th anniversary of a civil rights march with Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson.
State leaders used the opportunity to urge support for House Bill 70, which restores voting rights for some felons. State leaders used the opportunity to urge support for House Bill 70, which restores voting rights for some felons.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's been 50 years since a civil rights march brought more than 10,000 people to Frankfort.

Walking on the trail of history, hundreds of people followed in the foot steps of civil rights leaders Wednesday. Some were there 50 years ago, too.

"It had a life long impact on me," said Pamela Mullins of Covington. She attended the march with her great grandmother at just 11 years old.

On March 5, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson helped lead the charge with those who were asking for change on the steps of the state Capitol.

"The Public Accommodations bill failed in 1964 but was enacted into law in 1966 as Kentucky's Civil Rights Act," Georgia Davis Powers told the crowd. She helped organize the march in 1964 and was the first woman and African American elected to the state Senate. 

The march helped gain support for the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination in employment and public places, like restaurants and hotels. Kentucky became the first southern state to pass this kind of legislation.

"Fifty years have passed where civil rights have made progress, but it's obvious there's still work to be done," said Felicia Lee of Louisville, who attended the rally.

That message was clear on signs held throughout the crowd and among speakers at the podium.

"The now is about House Bill 70, which gives voting rights to felons who have served their paid restitution," Powers said.

She was joined by Governor Steve Beshear and other state and local leaders urging the crowd to take action on the original House version of the bill by contacting their lawmakers.

Those in the crowd say its inspiration from the past that will help keep the equal right movement, moving forward.

"We're still fighting. So were out here today and it's cold, but we'll keep doing what we need to do," said Nancy Dawson of Russellville.

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