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The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from our Thaler/Howell Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned visit us in downtown Ithaca or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

Alex Haley Historic Marker - Virtual Unveiling August 8th

Mon, July 20, 2020 2:44 PM | Anonymous

Monday, July 20th, 2020

For Immediate Release


The Alex Haley Memorial Project and The History Center in Tompkins County unveil historic signage celebrating Alex Haley on August 8th, 11 am.

ITHACA, NY. July 20th, 2020 – The Alex Haley Memorial Project, in collaboration with The History Center in Tompkins County, will live stream a ceremony to honor Ithaca-born Alex Haley on August 8th, at 11am. Alex Haley is a celebrated author, best known for his 1967 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The ceremony will unveil a historic place sign on Cascadilla Street marking the house where he was born. The ceremony will include thoughts from members of the Alex Haley Memorial Project, the Legacy Foundation which provided funding for the sign, The History Center in Tompkins County, and local representatives. Due to an abundance of caution, interested audiences are encouraged to participate through a livestream on The History Center’s Facebook page. A sign language interpreter will be present to ensure equal access to the livestream.

Alex Haley was born in Ithaca on August 11th, 1921. His parents were enrolled respectively at Cornell University and the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. The connection to Tompkins County higher institutions of education was unusual for Black Americans in that era, and is an important reminder of the continuing systemic inequalities that persist today. His work Roots: The Saga of An American Family and the subsequent television adaption is one of the most influential and important U.S. works in the last century. 

The unveiling ceremony on August 8th closely marks the 99th anniversary of Alex Haley’s birth. The Alex Haley Memorial Project and The History Center in Tompkins County look forward to additional programming next summer for the centennial anniversary.

The History Center in Tompkins County helps communities use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future.


For additional information, please contact:

Benjamin Sandberg, Executive Director

Email: director@thehistorycenter.net

Phone: (607) 273-8284, ext. 222

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