60th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort, Kentucky

On March 5, 1964, over 10,000 individuals marched peacefully through the streets of, Frankfort, Kentucky, to protest the continued legal segregation of public accommodations and discrimination in Kentucky. Specifically, the marchers were calling on lawmakers in the Kentucky legislature to pass specific civil rights bills proposed in both the house and senate. The march was led by the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson, accompanied by the folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary.

1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort, Kentucky
Photo Courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, University of Kentucky Libraries; Calvert McCann Photographs Collection

The Nunn Center has interviewed several organizers of the march, most notably Senator Georgia Davis Powers, as well as extensively interviewing the Governor at the time Edward T. Breathitt. In 2021, the Nunn Center partnered with the City of Frankfort, filmmaker Joanna Hay, and historian Dr. Le Datta Grimes to document a different perspective and conduct oral history interviews with individuals who attended the March that day.

The 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort (Kentucky) Oral History Project conducted 12 interview sessions with 15 individuals who recall their personal experiences of participating in the March. Additionally, the project produced several educational videos, curriculum material, and resources on the project website titled The March on Frankfort.

Sample Oral History Interview

Click Image to Access Interview Online

Although the legislation did not succeed in 1964, two years later in 1966 the legislature passed Civil Rights legislation that Dr. King characterized as “the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a southern state.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *