partlycloudy
Saturday August 29th, 2015 5:06PM

A historic march for MLK Day in Gainesville

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Around 150 marchers began this year's 43rd annual Gainesville celebration of Martin Luther King Day with song and prayer at E.E. Butler Center Monday afternoon.

The celebration and march is hosted annually by the Newton Florist Club, a service club that became a community action group. Club member and march leader, the Reverend Rose Johnson, said starting the march where for years it has ended made the event more community oriented.

"What we wanted to do was to begin to change things around," Reverend Johnson said. "We wanted the march to start in the community and move forward."

She added that the new change of program venue to Gainesville Middle School was also a reason.

"We had to develop a different kind of route that would be safe and suitable."

With their Gainesville Police Department escort, marchers began at 1:00 p.m. and went from Athens Highway to Martin Luther King Boulevard, which took them to New Holland and then across Jesse Jewell Parkway to the Middle School. The Reverend Eugene Green, former pastor of St. John Baptist Church, led a commemorative program in the Middle School gymnasium scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.to honor the slain Civil Rights leader who died 45 years ago.

Gainesville State College student and marcher Erin Watson said the march was historic because President Obama's inauguration and MLK Day are on the same day.

"That's very unique that it was planned on the same day," Watson said. "I think its maybe resemblance since we have a new president and Martin Luther King died for us to be free."

This was not the first MLK Day march for the young college student; she said it's a tradition with her family.

"We do it every year," Watson said. "We normally march and go to the program to remember the history of the Martin Luther King march."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Qualifying begins Mon. for city elections
Qualifying begins Monday for city elections across the state, with most of the attention in Hall County centered on the Gainesville election.
1:00PM ( 4 hours ago )
Gainesville considers IGA with Hall Co. for Flat Creek litter trap
Gainesville officials are considering an inter-governmental agreement with Hall County for a litter trap in Flat Creek, which sits in both the city limits of Gainesville and unincorporated Hall County.
12:00PM ( 5 hours ago )
3 Ga. men convicted in anti-government plot receive 12 years
Authorities say three Northwest Georgia men have been sentenced to prison in an anti-government militia plot.
11:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
Commission on Medical Cannabis working toward end of year report
Members of the state Commission on Medical Cannabis, including a Hall County woman, have three more meetings on their schedule before issuing a report to the governor.
10:52AM ( 6 hours ago )