FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Public Relations Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Wells Street Ceremonially Named as Jernigan Place

Ceremonial Naming Honors Renowned 
Civil Rights Leader Kenneth Jernigan

Baltimore, Maryland (April 3, 2008): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) announced today the ceremonial christening of the 200 block of Wells Street in South Baltimore as Jernigan Place.  Street signs bearing the name Jernigan Place will be added to Wells Street on the morning of Friday, April 4.  The ceremonial naming is in honor of Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, former NFB President and one of the most influential figures in the blindness movement.  Dr. Jernigan brought the NFB headquarters to South Baltimore in 1978, and Baltimore City honors the National Federation of the Blind’s thirty years in Baltimore with the ceremonial naming.

Dr. Jernigan served as NFB President from 1968 to 1986, and remained a renowned leader of the NFB until his untimely death from lung cancer in 1998.  During his tenure as president, Dr. Jernigan established a revolutionary rehabilitation program for blind people, a model that has since been replicated in several states and to this day brings success and opportunity to all who enroll.

“The street signs bearing Dr. Jernigan’s name are symbolic of his enduring contribution to blind people in Maryland and the rest of the country.  Under Dr. Jernigan’s dynamic leadership, the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore became the focal point of civil rights activity not only for the blind of America, but also for blind people all over the world,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

“It is fitting that Baltimore is bestowing the name Jernigan Place upon Wells Street this year, as the naming coincides with the National Federation of the Blind’s celebration of thirty years in Baltimore,” said Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. “We are proud to recognize the National Federation of the Blind and Dr. Kenneth Jernigan’s unparalleled achievements in the blindness field, many of which occurred here in Baltimore.”

After the Jernigan Place street signs are erected on the morning of April 4, the National Federation of the Blind will hold its 2008 Celebration, an event celebrating thirty years of achievement in Baltimore.  The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with silent and live auctions, food from the finest restaurants in Baltimore, and entertainment from Beatles tribute band Beatlemagic. 

For more information about this exciting event, please contact Jerry Lazarus at (410) 659-9314, extension 2297, or jlazarus@nfb.org.  Tickets are available online at www.nfb.org and will also be available at the door.