The birthplace of baseball legend Jackie Robinson will be getting new historical markers Friday.
The Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute Inc., will dedicate the Birthplace of Jackie Robinson historical marker in a public event at the Roddenbery Memorial Library in Cairo.
Two new historical markers will reference the birthplace of Jackie Robinson in Grady County and replace the older, damaged marker at the Robinson birth site. The marker at the Robinson birthplace at County Route 154 in Cairo has been replaced following vandalism last year, and a new duplicate historical marker will be located in downtown Cairo. Together the two new historical markers will allow residents and visitors alike to learn more about the Georgia roots of one of the twentieth century’s most beloved icons.
The public dedication will take place Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. at the Roddenbery Memorial Library at 320 N. Broad Street in Cairo.
Speakers for the event include Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor, Representative Sanford Bishop of the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia; Kevin Moss, Senior Manager of Community Affairs at Major League Baseball; Dr. Raymond Doswell, Vice President and Curator at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Janet Boudet, Director of the Roddenbery Memorial Library; Howard Thrower, Chairman of the Roddenbery Memorial Library Board of Trustees; Dr. Linda Walden, relative of Jackie Robinson and founder of the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute; and Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.
The Marker Reads:
Birthplace of Jackie Robinson:
First African American in Modern-Day Major League Baseball
Robinson was born 13 miles south of Cairo on January 31, 1919, before he and his family moved to California in 1920. After attending U.C.L.A., serving in the U.S. Army, and playing in the Negro American Baseball and International Leagues, Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier. Adding to his many athletic accomplishments, he served as special assistant to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, established the first African American Modern Bank/Freedom National Bank, and provided housing for the underprivileged through his construction firm. Robinson died in 1972. His birthplace burned in 1996, but the chimney still stands.
Re-erected in 2021 by the Georgia Historical Society, The Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute, Inc., and Major League Baseball.