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Final part of Old World Third Street renamed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Posted at 12:34 PM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 18:35:09-05

MILWAUKEE — The remaining segment of Old World Third Street in Milwaukee has been officially renamed in honor of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Now the full road from I-43 to Wisconsin Avenue is called North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

It was a dream 38 years in the making.

It was proposed to follow suit for the remaining length of the street, from McKinley to West Wisconsin Avenue last year.

"I think it's a demonstration that we as a city are moving in a more inclusive direction," said Alderwoman Milele Coggs of District 6.

Watch Monday's renaming ceremony below:

The street renaming this MLK day means a lot to people all across Milwaukee. Including people like Howard Fuller. Who heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak for the very first time when he was just 20 years old at a Methodist church in Cleveland.

"He spoke in biblical terms and used the cadence of a Baptist preacher but he was powerful both in terms of content and symbolism. He could make you feel what it was he was actually saying," said Dr. Howard Fuller, a distinguished professor emeritus at Marquette University.

He was so moved by Dr. King and what he stood for, that when he died, Fuller was one of many who fought to have Dr. King's birthday become a national holiday.

"In some ways, the fight was more important to me than it actually becoming a holiday because what it did was that it brought people together," said Fuller.

His hope now is that the world continues to remember and reflect on the words Dr. King spoke, and live by them daily with the fullest intentions.

The area that was already named after Dr. King stretched between West McKinley Avenue and I-43. As of now the remaining length of the street, from McKinley to West Wisconsin Avenue, is also named after Dr. King.

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Ald. Milele Coggs

The renaming effort at least dates back to 1984, when 16,000 Milwaukee residents signed a petition to honor Dr. King by renaming a street after him. But that led to an agreement to change part of the road's name in honor of Dr. King, while referring to the remaining southern end as Old World 3rd Street.

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