New York State Legislature Commemorates “Thurgood Marshall Day”

Senator Morahan and Assemblywoman Jaffee lead the effort to memorialize civil rights leader and first African-American Supreme Court Justice
May 13, 2008

Yesterday, the New York State Assembly passed a resolution recognizing the contributions made by United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and commemorating Friday, May 17, 2008 “Thurgood Marshall Day” in New York State. Today, the New York State Senate is expected to pass a concurrent resolution. The effort is led by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Senator Thomas Morahan (R-New City).

Thurgood Marshall, one of the most renowned figures of the civil rights movement in America, was the first African American United States Supreme Court Justice, serving for 24 years between 1967 and 1991. In 1943, Marshall stood with a group of African American Families and successfully argued for the desegregation of the Main School, now called the Hillburn School, in Rockland County.

“The late Thurgood Marshall was one of this country’s premier champions of civil rights, fighting for the most important premises of democratic government – freedom, equality, and justice for all,” said Assemblywoman Jaffee from the floor of the Assembly. “He utilized the courthouse to advocate for equal treatment under the law.”

"Thurgood Marshall was instrumental in building a structure of individual rights that became the cornerstone of protections for all Americans," said Senator Morahan. "He succeeded in creating new protections under law for women, children, prisoners, and the homeless, earning him a treasured place in American history."

The legislators were joined yesterday in Albany by: County Legislator Bill Darden; Spring Valley Mayor George Darden; President of the Spring Valley NAACP, Mr. Willie Trotman; Former Field Representative for the Hon. Thurgood Marshall, Ms. June Alexander; President of the Spring Valley Kiwanis, Ms. Lenora McCabe; Chairwoman of the Spring Valley Democratic Committee, Ms. Patricia Caldwell; First Vice President of the Spring Valley NAACP, Ms. Merle George; Ms. Brenda Atkins from the Rockland County Legislature; and Dr. Willie Bryant from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.