Jan. 10, 2018 - The plaque marking the renaming a Hampton bridge in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be unveiled in a brief public ceremony Monday, Jan. 15, at 1 p.m.
The measure to rename the bridge on Mercury Boulevard that leads to Fort Monroe was approved in 2016; however, the formal markers were delayed until all legal agreements were approved by the King family. The renaming also honors the three enslaved men who sought freedom and protection at Fort Monroe, a crucial development that helped pave the way for the Emancipation Proclamation.
The public is invited to join City Council for a ceremony unveiling the plaque for the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge in Honor of Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory and James Townsend" at 1 p.m. on the bridge leading into Fort Monroe. Mayor Donnie Tuck and Vice-Mayor Linda Curtis will provide reflections during the unveiling ceremony.
Although it's short notice, city officials wanted to be able to use the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday to mark the significance of the renaming. It will follow the Ministers Coalition of Hampton and the Vicinity 's annual King breakfast.
The Fort Monroe Authority is arranging for some parking on the Fort Monroe side of the bridge. Traffic on the bridge will be stopped during the ceremony.
At a meeting Wednesday Hampton City Council also agreed to a citizen committee’s recommendation on the design of a memorial dedicated to King and to those in Hampton who have moved forward the cause of social justice.