July 2nd, 2013

Jackie Robinson: Baseball and Civil Rights Icon

Jackie Robinson is a historic icon not just for his amazing baseball career, but also for his many contributions to the Civil Rights movement.  While most people know he was an astonishingly good batter and base stealer, here are a few facts you might not know.

– Robinson was an excellent athlete in high school and played four different sports: baseball, football, track and basketball.

– Jackie wasn’t the only athlete in his family.  His older brother, Matthew, won a silver medal in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin (placing right behind Jesse Owens in the 200-meter dash).

– Jackie played semi-professional football for the Honolulu Bears in Hawaii before starting his baseball career.

– Robinson served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1944, but never saw combat because he was arrested and court-martialed after refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus.

– After retiring in 1957, Robinson continued to fight for civil rights, serving on the board of the NAACP and helping to establish the Freedom National Bank.

If you love baseball and want to learn more about the great Jackie Robinson, don’t miss a free Chautauqua living history performance with a Jackie Robinson actor on Saturday, July 13th at 6pm at the Elkton Central Library.  This special after-hours program is sponsored by the Maryland humanities Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Registration is not required, but feel free to call 410-996-5600 ext. 481 with any questions.

What’s your favorite piece of baseball trivia?

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