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Bridge To Be Dedicated To MLK, KKK Victim From Westchester

An artist's rendering of the completed 3rd Street Bridge connecting Mount Vernon and Pelham. Photo Credit: NYSDOT
The 3rd Street Bridge. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A stretch of a bridge in Westchester will be dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. and former activist Michael “Mickey” Henry Schwerner, an area native who was killed by the Ku Klux Klan.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, July 28 that he has signed legislation designating a portion of the 3rd Street Bridge connecting Mount Vernon and Bronxville the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Michael Henry Schwerner Memorial Bridge.”

“Civil rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Michael Henry Schwerner gave much to the cause of justice in America, and it's appropriate that we honor their memory here in New York," Cuomo said in a statement. 

"Thanks to this legislation, the new name of this bridge will remind residents of Westchester and travelers across the state of the contributions of these two activists."

Officials noted that King addressed the Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon in 1959 before his assassination nine years later in Tennesee in 1968, famously leading, organizing, and assisting countless protests and movements.

Schwerner was a native of Pelham and attended Pelham Memorial School. He was killed by members of the KKK in Mississippi while investigating the burning of Mt. Zion Methodist Church. He was a long-time member and leader in the Congress of Racial Equality.

“To move forward in societal progress we must acknowledge history and celebrate those who have championed change,” Sen. Jamaal Bailey said. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Michael Henry Schwarmer were civil rights advocates, fighting for desegregation, voting rights, and racial equity for Black and Brown Americans.

“Both lost their lives working towards creating a world based on equity and fairness,” he continued. “Memorializing the legacy of these men is a privilege. Renaming the ‘3rd Street Bridge’ to the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Michael Henry Schwerner Memorial Bridge" is also important to the communities that are served by this bridge.

“Its renaming will be a reminder of the sacrifice and how far we still have to go to live out the dream set by Dr. King and Michael Schwarmer.” 

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