RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- After more than a year of working with elected officials on several levels, the Russellville/Logan County NAACP has dedicated a Logan County roadway in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Transportation Cabinet designated the Russellville Bypass in
Logan County, U.S. Route 79, from mile point 10.7 to mile point 16.184, as the "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway."
A sign marking the designation went up on Monday.
"The sign is continuing recognition of the legacy and history of Dr. Martin Luther King," said Russellville/Logan County NAACP President William Woodard.
"It is a historical event for Logan County," added Katherine Hart, the chairwoman behind this project.
"It's the first recognition of a civil rights leader -- African American -- that's having a highway named after them in Russellville/Logan County, Kentucky. That's pretty significant," explained Woodard.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway is especially meaningful for community members like Charles Neblett, a civil rights activist and member of the Russellville/Logan County NAACP who worked with Dr. King in the 60s.
"I've been on the March on Washington, the Selma to Montgomery March, most of the major marches that he was on, I was there," said Neblett.
In the decades since, he's seen quite a bit.
"In a sense there's been a lot of progress and in a sense there's been a lot of things that are not good," he said.
Now, Neblett's played a role in getting permanent recognition for Dr. King in Logan County.
"I think that we are lucky, not lucky, we are blessed, to have a town of this size in the South really, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King and people have accepted it," he said.
He went on to say, "That's what's significant about this sign. When people come through here they will ask, 'Who is this guy?' and people will hopefully sit down and tell them he was one of the most prolific civil rights leaders in the 20th century."
"I just hope everyone will understand the importance of having this sign placed at this location and recognizing the highway in the honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and understand that it is definitely a very strong historical event for Logan County, Kentucky," said Woodard.
The NAACP wanted to thank local elected officials for helping them make this possible and for supporting their efforts throughout this project.