United for Libraries designates Literary Landmark for Alex Haley

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Reprinted courtesy of: United for Libraries

PHILADELPHIA — United for Libraries, in partnership with the Tennessee Historical Commission and the staff and board of the Alex Haley Museum and & Interpretive Center in Henning, Tenn., designated the museum a Literary Landmark during a celebration on Sat., Aug .9.

More than 150 people joined the museum staff and board at the ceremony for Alex Haley (1921-1992), as well as to celebrate what would have been Haley’s 93rd birthday. The program included the unveiling of the official Literary Landmark bronze plaque; proclamations by city, county and state officials; the United States Coast Guard and Color Guard Detail; commissioners and Historic Sites Program Director Martha Akins from the Tennessee Historical Commission; music by trumpeter Joshua Campbell, and vocalist Charlotte Ammons.

The master of ceremonies was WMC-TV 5 news anchor Justin Hanson.  Other special guests were Haley’s grandson and his wife, Michael and Melody Baker of North Carolina; Alex Haley researcher Darren Desepoli of New York and author Lucas Johnson of Nashville.

“We are so elated to receive this well-deserved honor, and the opportunity to share the good news with the world,” said Paula Boger, executive director of the Alex Haley Museum & Interpretive Center.

Haley’s boyhood home, which was built by his grandfather, William E. Palmer, in 1919, served as a seat of inspiration for Haley’s Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel "Roots: The Saga of an American Family." Haley’s works, life and legacy are preserved by the museum.

The Literary Landmark program is administered by United for Libraries. More than 130 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began in 1986. Any library or group may apply for a Literary Landmark through United for Libraries. More information is available on the United for Libraries website. 

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library trustees, advocates, friends and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick@ala.org.