Jackson: Gary first urban stop for civil rights

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GARY, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he hopes to call attention to the importance of Richard Hatcher being elected in Gary as the first black mayor of a large U.S. city in 1968 with an event Saturday in Chicago.

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GARY, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he hopes to call attention to the importance of Richard Hatcher being elected in Gary as the first black mayor of a large U.S. city in 1968 with an event Saturday in Chicago.

Jackson said during a conference call Thursday that Gary was the first major urban stop on the civil rights movement and calls Hatcher a national hero. Jackson says Hatcher used his influence to draw thousands to the National Black Political Convention in Gary in 1972 to boost blacks’ political power.

Hatcher and Karen Freeman-Wilson, the city’s first black female mayor, are scheduled to attend the event. Jackson hopes to hold a rally later this year at West Side High School, where the convention was held in 1972, to commemorate the 40-year anniversary.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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