South Bend Unveils Hesburgh-King Statue

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(photo courtesy City of South Bend) (photo courtesy City of South Bend)
SOUTH BEND -

The city of South Bend has unveiled a statue depicting a famous photograph featuring former University of Notre Dame President Rev. Theodore Hesburgh holding hands with Martin Luther King Jr.  The life-sized bronze sculpture is located in Leighton Plaza in downtown South Bend.

The photograph on which the statue is based was taken at a 1964 civil rights rally at Soldier Field in Chicago as the men held hands and sang "We Shall Overcome" along with a crowd of demonstrators. The photo is now in display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.

Hesburgh, who led Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, was one of the original architects of the Civil Rights Act and served on the Civil Rights Commission from 1957 to 1972. He is also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Community leaders, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and current Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, were on hand Wednesday for the statue's unveiling. "We’re all part of a bigger tapestry, and that is what the location of this sculpture on Main Street represents," said Buttigieg.

The university says it has been unable to identify and locate the photographer who took the famous image, seen below:

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