Highway Transport General Service Manager Kenneth Dickey represented his mother Minnie Ann Dickey Jones in the Clinton 12 Commemorative Walk by walking in her place. Kenny’s mom is one of the 12 students in 1956 who braved threats of violence to attend Clinton High School, making it the first desegregated public high school in the South.
Kenny says, “Students and the general public were on both sides of the street. The marching band played.”
Clinton Middle School + Clinton Elementary students lined the street. Clinton 12 and family members walked together from Green McAdoo Cultural Center, former Green McAdoo School to Clinton Middle School, the former Clinton High School.
“We were led by an honor guard. A proclamation was given to each member of the Clinton 12. My mom’s knees are in real bad shape. Also, her husband just recently got out of the hospital. It is very hard for mom to climb steps or ramps. Mom is due for knee replacement surgery soon.”
Following the walk, there was a program in the middle school gymnasium where the Clinton 12 were recognized and a proclamation presented from the State of Tennessee and a joint proclamation presented by Anderson County Commission, the City of Clinton and the City of Oak Ridge.
Honored guests included the remaining members of the Clinton 12, family representatives of the Clinton 12, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. U. S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann and Tennessee Lt, Governor Randy McNally.
The purpose of the Clinton 12 Commemorative Walk is to honor the original 12 students from 1956.