Ithaca Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Focuses On His Poor People’s Campaign

People packed the gym of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in downtown Ithaca to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They also were there to further his vision of a Poor People’s Campaign. 

It was a movement to “revolutionize” the country’s attitude toward the poor and rally them to advocate for better living conditions. After a buffet lunch and brief presentations, those attending the celebration divided into smaller groups to discuss issues and solutions to current societal problems.

Fabina Colon, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of the Ithaca event, said it was important to spend time talking to each other about problems the community faces today. “If we want different solutions we must create different processes. That is, looking at some of the work that the Poor People’s Campaign is doing and being in alignment with that,” said Fabina Benitez Colon, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of the Ithaca event. Nationwide, organizers are trying to bring about a revival of the Poor People’s Campaign with an emphasis on systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation.

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Veterans Support Their Peers In Transition Home

The American Legion Post 80 is one of Bert Proper’s favorite places. Aside from the plaques, pictures and flags that remind him of military service history, he loves the feel of the building. “You’re around people that have been there,” he explained. Proper means been deployed. He served during the Persian Gulf War and had a tough transition back home.

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How Southern Tier Farmers Fought To Hold The Union Line

Many books and movies have been written about Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and his valiant success at Little Roundtop, but very little has been said about the right end the line where Colonel Ireland was with his regiment. Today, they’re getting a little time in the sun. The 137th New York and their leader Colonel David Ireland held down the right side of the line on Culp’s Hill. Culp’s Hill is actually two hills sloping down into a ditch or a swale. On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee and the Confederate army attempted to get around the Union line.

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They Call Me “Cool Fool”: A George Haley Story

To conclude our series highlighting historical black residence of our region we discuss the life of Bath, NY native Lt. Col. George J. Haley. Haley volunteered in WWII as a fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces. He fought in multiple wars, flying over 90 missions in WWII alone. More history from the Twin Tiers can be found here.

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From Slavery To Citizenship: The Story Of John W. Jones

 

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We continue our series that highlights notable black residents of the Southern Tier with John W. Jones. (If you missed the first installment, click here.)

Shane Johnson of WSKG’s history department writes: “Between the summers of 1864 and 1865, nearly 3,000 Confederate prisoners died at the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, New York. The monumental task of burying the dead fell upon Jones, a former runaway slave.” Shane has more on this epic here.

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How Oscar Barton’s Drum Embodies Owego Civil War History

 

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For Black History Month, we are highlight notable black residents of the Southern Tier, starting with Oscar Barton. Barton was from Owego and, in 1863, he enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer. For two years, he carried his drum across the South as a member of the 26th United States Colored Troops. Barton’s drum is now on display at the Tioga County Historical Society Museum.