DOVER, Del.- Dover is no longer the only state capital in the nation without a street dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. A dedication ceremony was held Saturday afternoon for the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard that will surround Legislative Hall.
The debate to rename a street after the civil rights leader has been in the news in Kent County for months, as community groups and the city council tried to resolve the issue. However, those directly involved in the process say the effort to have a street named after Dr. King has been going on in Delaware for quite some time.
"Literally, about 20 years," said Michael Rogers, a member of the renaming committee and president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Dover. "This started some 20 years ago but the primary push has been recent. In the last year or so with town meetings, etc."
The dedication ceremony was held on the same day as the annual MLK Parade in Dover and dozens turned out for the announcement. Renaming the street for Dr. King means Dover is no longer the only state capital without a street honoring King.
"By doing this, we are going to be in with the rest of the cities and the rest of the towns that have been able to do that and get that accomplished," said Dover Mayor, Carleton Carey. "So, we feel that it is a great move for us."
The new boulevard replaces Court, Duke of York and William Penn Streets around Legislative Hall. Those on hand were thrilled Dr. King was finally getting the respect they felt he deserved.
"This day is about history and it's also about progress. Progress in the city of Dover, Delaware," said Lola Bratten-Phillips of Dover.
"We'll think about Dr. King and all that he had done for us as a community and as a people throughout the United State and just so we can saw we recognize his efforts and the dream is still alive," said Rogers.
The three state owned buildings along the new MLK Boulevard will have their addresses formally changed.
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