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26th annual M.L. King celebration held

A small by hardy group celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in Columbia on Jan. 21. The theme was “Keeping the dream of unity, tolerance, and hope.”

The sky was sunny, the temparature was 26 degrees, up two degrees from the morning’s low, and a stiff northwest wind was blowing as Mark Mixon, vice president of Concerned Citizens of Tyrrell County, opened the ceremony on the courthouse lawn at 11 a.m.

Minister Louise Griswell of Salem Missionary Baptist Church, prayed the invocation, then three dozen participants, singing “We Shall Overcome” and led by the blue lights of a sheriff’s vehicle, marched to Madge L. VanHorne Auditorium.

There Rev. Wilford Combs read Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Mt. Ploeasant Baptist Church presented musical selections, Oliver Holley, county school superintendent, spoke, Rev. Joan Batson, Mt. Pleasant, spoke, Minister Elizabeth Spencer led the audience in “Litany for King,” Chris Baum led the mass choir in singing “Victory is Mine,” and Minister Griswell pronounced the benediction.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929 and was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.

“The Concerned Citizens of Tyrrell County wishes to thank Tyrrell County Schools, all organizations, churches, and community residents for today’s participation,” said Mixon. “Dr. King’s Birthday-Holiday represents a reminder of our continuing fight for justice and equality for all people.

Other officers of the Concerned Citizens are Brenda Mixon, secretary; Joyce Sykes Fitch, acting secretary; and Victoria Barber, treasurer.