Funding set for state, civil rights museums

On the 43rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Mississippi House and Senate approved a measure to borrow $38 million to build civil rights and state history museums in downtown Jackson.

“I think it’s ironic, and it’s a testament of how far we’ve come that on this particular day we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, black and white, and in a way that pays great honor to the memory of Martin Luther King,” said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, who has pushed for creation of a civil rights museum for nearly a decade.

Gov. Haley Barbour, whose record on race relations has been in the spotlight as he considers a run for president, gave a surprise push to the idea in his State of the State speech earlier this year.

Late Monday, in a statement, Barbour said the museums “will serve as outstanding projects to teach the lessons of our past and honor those who shaped our great state.”

Clarion Ledger
4/5/11