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Section of Harmon Avenue Dedicated as

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2008 12:00 am

"Michael Schwerner Way" is the new additional name of Harmon Avenue next to the Pelham Gazebo and the Town of Pelham 9/11 Memorial. The dedication of the street memorializes the slain civil rights activist and PMHS graduate in the Class of 1959. Town Supervisor Joe Solimine (below, right) presided at brief ceremonies on June 7 just as the 2008 Pelham Street Fair began along Harmon and Fifth Avenue. Speakers included Jeff Conrad (striped shirt), who along with his 1961 PMHS classmate Al Washington (white shirt in front row) had asked Supervisor Solimine and the Town Board to find a way to publicly remember Michael Schwerner. After discussions with the Town Board, Supervisor Solimine contacted Village of Pelham Mayor Ed Hotchkiss about naming the section of Harmon Avenue; the proposal was then approved by the Village Board. Mr. Conrad, who now lives in Connecticut, thanked all for the street naming, which he said will remember not only Michael Schwerner but all those who worked on voter registration of African Americans in the South as Schwerner did. The killing of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Cheney followed by a national outcry for new legislation, is often cited as one of the most important events that led to the passage of civil rights legislation.

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