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Senators McKissick;  Albertson, Allran, Apodaca, Atwater, Basnight, Berger of Franklin, Berger of Rockingham, Bingham, Blake, Boseman, Brock, Brown, Brunstetter, Clary, Clodfelter, Dannelly, Davis, Dorsett, East, Foriest, Forrester, Garrou, Goodall, Goss, Graham, Hartsell, Hoyle, Hunt, Jacumin, Jenkins, Jones, Kinnaird, Malone, Nesbitt, Preston, Purcell, Queen, Rand, Rouzer, Rucho, Shaw, Snow, Soles, Stein, Stevens, Swindell, Tillman, Vaughan, and Weinstein.

Referred to:

Rules and Operations of the Senate.

April 2, 2009

A JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the life and memory of john hope franklin, Distinguished educator, historian, and civil rights activist.

Whereas, John Hope Franklin was born on January 2, 1915, in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, and later moved with his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his father, Buck Colbert Franklin, was a lawyer and his mother, Mollie Parker Franklin, was a schoolteacher; and

Whereas, John Hope Franklin graduated magna cum laude from Fisk University in 1935 and earned a master's degree in 1936 and doctorate degree in 1941 from Harvard University; and

Whereas, between 1936 and 1956, Dr. Franklin taught history at Fisk University, St. Augustine's College, North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University), and Howard University; and

Whereas, in 1956, Dr. Franklin was appointed Chair of the Department of History at Brooklyn College in New York, becoming the first African-American to serve in that position at a predominantly white institution; and

Whereas, from 1964 to 1982, Dr. Franklin taught at the University of Chicago, serving as professor of American history, Chair of the Department of History, John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor, and professor emeritus of history; and

Whereas, after retiring from the University of Chicago, Dr. Franklin returned to Durham, North Carolina, and in 1982 joined the faculty at Duke University, serving as the first African-American professor to hold an endowed chair, the James B. Duke Professor of History, Professor of Legal History at Duke University Law School, and the James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin's tenure at Duke University inspired the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the John Hope Franklin Research Center; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin also taught briefly at other institutions, including Cambridge University in England, Harvard University, Cornell University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Hawaii, and the University of California at Berkley; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin authored hundreds of articles and many books, including his most recognized work, "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans," published in 1947 and considered to be the definitive text on the African-American experience in the United States; and

Whereas, some of Dr. Franklin's other books and publications include: "The Emancipation Proclamation;" "The Militant South;" "The Free Negro in North Carolina;" "Reconstruction After the Civil War;" "George Washington Williams: A Biography;" "A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North;" "Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988;" "The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-First Century;" "Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin;" and "My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin;" and

Whereas, John Hope Franklin was at the forefront of civil rights issues, providing historical research to Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP legal team for the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case, Brown Board of Education, which ended the "separate but equal" doctrine in public schools in the United States and marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin rendered distinguished service to his profession, serving as President of the American Studies Association, Southern Historical Association, United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin made significant contributions as a member of several national organizations, including the National Council on the Humanities and the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, and as Chair of the advisory board of President William J. Clinton's Initiative on Race in 1997; and

Whereas, during his lifetime, Dr. Franklin received countless honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1995; the John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanities, created by the Library of Congress, in 2006; the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Public Service from the American Philosophical Society in 2007; a Gold Medal for distinguished achievement in history from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002; and more than 130 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin also had a passion for orchids and was honored with a species named for him, the Phalaenopsis John Hope Franklin; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin was married to his wife, Aurelia Whittington Franklin, a librarian and Goldsboro, North Carolina, native for almost 60 years prior to her death in 1999; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin died on March 25, 2009, at the age of 94; and

Whereas, Dr. Franklin is survived by his son, John Whittington Franklin, daughter-in-law, Karen Roberts Franklin, sister-in-law, Bertha W. Gibbs, and cousin, Grant Franklin; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:

SECTION 1.  The General Assembly honors the life of Dr. John Hope Franklin and expresses the appreciation of this State and its citizens for his extraordinary contributions to American history.

SECTION 2.  The General Assembly extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. John Hope Franklin for the loss of a beloved family member.

SECTION 3.  The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the family of Dr. John Hope Franklin.

SECTION 4.  This resolution is effective upon ratification.