New York Airport to Be Renamed After Frederick Douglass

Monroe County legislators voted August 11 to change the name of the Greater Rochester International Airport to the Frederick Douglass-Greater Rochester International Airport after a Rochester resident petitioned to commemorate the local abolitionist.

Richard Glaser, the petitioner, collected nearly 5,000 signatures to change the name of the airport.

“Frederick Douglass holds an unparalleled place of prominence in the history of Rochester and Monroe County,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement last month.

“He called Rochester home for more than a quarter-century and it was here that he founded and published his North Star newspaper, wrote some of his greatest works and speeches and continued his life-long fight for emancipation, suffrage, equality and human rights. His world-renowned leadership on social reform is a legacy that lives on throughout our community.”

“By honoring this particular historical figure in this way, I believe that Rochester is saying something important about itself: it wants to be a national center for individual rights and justice,” said Douglass’ great-great-great grandson Kenneth Morris, president of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.

The airport will also feature historical displays educating travelers about Douglass’ life and works.

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