Civil Rights Act commemorated in Orange County

Mayor Teresa Jacobs says struggle must be remembered

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange County leaders held an event Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The groundbreaking legislation was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2nd, 1964. It outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender and religion.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Full Sail University hosted the event, which was held at the Orange County Regional History Center.

"It is so important that we remember the struggles that led to the passage of that historic legislation," Jacobs said.  "We must keep the story alive for future generations and each of us must be vigilant in standing up and speaking out on behalf of what is right."

The hour-long celebration featured a reading of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech by local school children.

The program also included personal testimony from Curtis Dean, godson of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Dean presented a portrait of Parks, which will be displayed at the history center.

Another work of art, created by Full Sail University students, was unveiled before the audience.  The three-panel mural features King and Eatonville's own Zora Neale Hurston.

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