On this day in 1967...


President Lyndon B. Johnson awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the United States, to University of Minnesota alum Roy Wilkins.

Wilkins was born in Missouri and graduated from the U in 1923, where he was the first African-American reporter and editor of the Minnesota Daily.

After graduating from Minnesota he would go on to serve as the editor of the The Crisis, the NAACP's official magazine.

Wilkins would continue his career in the NAACP and go on to serve as Executive Secretary of the civil rights group in 1955, and become the Executive Director in 1964.

During his time in the latter position, the NAACP would play a critical role in Brown v. The Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Roy Wilkins Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus is named for him, and he was frequently referred to as the "Senior Statesman" of the civil rights movement after his death in 1981.

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On this day in 1967 ...

On July 19, 1967, Minneapolis experiences some of the unrest in African-American communities seen nationwide as rioting breaks out along Plymouth Avenue. How long did it last? For the answer click on the headline above.