San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 5th, 2008
Project would honor LBJ, MLK where streets that bear their names meet

STAFF REPORT

City council member Chris Jones is trying to nurture interest in a monument honoring Lyndon Baines Johnson and Martin Luther King at the intersection of two San Marcos streets that bear the leaders’ names.

LBJ Drive and Martin Luther King Drive connect at a major gateway to downtown and are said to be only intersection of streets honoring the civil rights era contemporaries, although that claim is difficult to verify.

“Everything is here we need to do something significant. That little triangle has big possibilities,” Diann McCabe, the university’s honors program associate director, recently told the city council.

LBJ Drive continues through the courthouse square to Texas State University, where the former president graduated in 1930 and returned in 1965 to sign the landmark Higher Education Act. A year earlier, he signed the Civil Rights Act as King and other black leaders looked on.

Martin Luther King Drive is the backbone of the historically black Dunbar neighborhood which counts among its offspring noted jazz musician Eddie Durham, who was born in 1906. The site of his birthplace, now a vacant lot on MLK Drive, is slated at some point to become the Eddie Durham Park. Next door, the city-owned Cephus House is also awaiting plans for refurbishing.

The effort comes in the 100th anniversary of Johnson’s birth and the 50th anniversary of King’s death. “It’s the perfect time to get something started,” McCabe said.

— BRAD ROLLINS

RELATED IN THE MERCURY

» Nearing LBJ’s centennial, Texas State looks to its most famous alumnus to help shape identity 02/17/08

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