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Jan. 10, 2019 - Mayor Donnie Tuck announced Wednesday that the Martin Luther King Jr. and Hampton Heroes Memorial Plaza will be dedicated Jan. 21. He also announced the first people whose names will be listed on the monument.
The panels will honor those who worked to accomplish social change and justice in Hampton. The panels with local names will be near a coordinating panel honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
In explaining the connection, Tuck noted that "Dr. King preached love, modeled nonviolence, and demanded justice on a scale that changed the lives of people throughout our country, including Hampton." King also challenged others to also make a difference, he noted.
The Hampton Heroes Plaza will honor those who embodied that spirit of doing for others, of changing the landscape of this city to become more just, loving and kind. Some came before King; some came during his era. The monument may honor some whose stories of justice have yet to be written, as it is designed to grow over time.
In this inaugural year, Hampton Heroes will tell four stories of pivotal times in Hampton’s history – and honor the contributions of some of the most influential people in those stories:
Contrabands - Enslaved Journey to Freedom: Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, James Townsend, Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, James A. Fields, George Washington Fields, Mary S. Peake, William Roscoe Davis, and Gerri L. Hollins.
Hidden Figures: Katherine G. Johnson, Mary W. Jackson, Dr. Christine M. Darden, Dorothy J. Vaughan, Miriam D. Mann, T. Melvin Butler, and Margot Lee Shetterly.
Public School Integration: State Sen. Hunter B. Andrews, C. Alton Lindsay, Dr. Jerome H. Holland, Robert A. Rice, Del. Dr. Mary T. Christian, Mary E. Johnson, and William M. Cooper.
Founding of Hampton Institute: Gen. Samuel C. Armstrong, the Rev. George Whipple, the Rev. Lewis C. Lockwood, Booker T. Washington, and Robert Russa Moton.
The dedication of the memorial will be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. outside the Hampton Roads Convention Center. It is free and open to the public.