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Updated Jan 20, 2014 - 10:26 am

Mesa honors MLK with new street sign, parade

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

MESA, Ariz. -- Monday marks a landmark day for one intersection in Mesa.

At 10:45 a.m., just prior to the city's Martin Luther King, Jr. parade, a new street sign will be unveiled, renaming Third Place, between Center Street and Centennial Way, to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

John Goodie with the Mesa MLK Committee said this is a historic day in a city where voters repealed the city holiday in 1992, before approving it again in 1996.

"For a city that struggled to pass the holiday, to come full circle is priceless," Goodie said. "Dr. King had a vision of where we are today. We've gotten better. We're not there yet, [but] it's moving in the right direction."

The East Valley Tribune also reported that the area used to be home to a segregated park and swimming pool for the community's black, Native American and Latino residents.

In 1953, residents formed the Better Community Council to eliminate segregation at public facilities and restaurants. The committee's efforts led to integration of the pool.

The Mesa MLK Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by a festival from noon-4 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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