Sacramento, CA – Today, the California State Assembly passed a resolution recognizing the 70th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in a major professional sport. Robinson, a Pasadena native, made baseball history when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in April, 1947.
“Jackie Robinson is a true hero who continues to influence our lives 70 years later by his actions and words both on and off the field,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “With this resolution the legislature recognizes the bravery he exhibited, and the sacrificial hardship he and his family endured, during a time in our country’s history of racial turmoil and inhuman discrimination.”
Robinson was born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia and was raised in Pasadena, California. A stellar athlete, young Robinson excelled not only in baseball but was a lettered athlete in football, track and field. He also played on the varsity squad of each of these sports while attending UCLA.
While as a commissioned second lieutenant in the United States Army during World War II, he refused to sit in the back of an unsegregated military that resulted in his denial of combat duty. Consequently, he was acquitted and received an honorable discharge and later assigned to Camp Breckinridge, Morganfield Kentucky where he worked as an Army athletics coach and was subsequently encouraged to try out for the Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro National League team.
Upon joining the Dodgers in 1947, Robinson led the Dodgers to win 6 pennants and the World Series in 1955. Robinson, after his historic career, became a vocal champion for civil rights and other social and political causes by joining the NAACP and helping establish the African-American Freedom National Bank.
“Jackie Robinson will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come,” said Holden.