Russellville celebrates Alice Dunnigan

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky.-It’s not often that someone comes along and makes lasting change. They break barriers, persevere despite all odds and forge a new path for others to follow. That was Alice Dunnigan.

Thursday marked the beginning of Russellville’s Emancipation Celebration, and this year’s theme is ‘Alice is Coming Home.

The Russellville native worked as a reporter for the Associated Negro Press and in 1947 she became the first black woman to receive White House press credentials. The first President she interviewed was Harry Truman.

It was an extremely segregated time in the U.S. and not everyone was supportive of Dunnigan. She eventually fled her home in Russellville. Now, years later, a statue of the trailblazing journalist is being erected in the city.

“What it really means is that she started off here, said Charles Nesblitt, a Russellville Civil Rights activist. “She has been all over the world and they are bringing her statue here. She is going to be honored right here where she started.”

The statue of Dunnigan that was once on display at the Newseum in Washington D.C., will now be permanently displayed in Russellville’s Museum District at the corner of East 6th and South Morgan Streets.

The Emancipation Celebration will continue through Sunday.