Award Presentation

John Doar Marker Unveiling & Award Presentation

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

11 am – Noon

EnlargeDirector Christian Overland

Director Christian Overland

An official state historical marker in honor of the late John Doar will be formally dedicated on Tuesday, October 9, at 11 am in downtown New Richmond, near the start of the John Doar History Trail (150 W. First Street) overlooking the mill pond. The event is open to the public.

The Wisconsin Historical Society's Ruth and Hartley Barker Director, Christian Overland, will be a guest speaker at the ceremony and recognize the City of New Richmond with the 2018 Board of Curators Public Program Award in recognition of last year's three-day John Doar History Trail Community Celebration. Following remarks from Mayor Fred Horne, State Representative Rob Stafsholt, State Senator Patty Schachtner, and the Doar family, the historical marker will be formally unveiled. The ceremony will conclude with photos and refreshments.

John Doar led the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department in the 1960s, during which time he fought to protect the rights of black voters and integrate universities in the South. He played an integral role in the Civil Rights Movement, prosecuting several high-profile cases including the "Mississippi Burning" trial; escorted James Meredith, the first African American student to attend the University of Mississippi; walked alongside the Selma-to-Montgomery March; prevented a riot following the funeral of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evans; and helped draft the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Doar later served as special counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation of President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. John Doar passed away in 2014 at the age of 92.

About the Awarded Program

The program combined the celebration of a favorite son, John Doar, with several history-related book and panel discussions, public events and film showings designed to teach the community about the history of Civil Rights in the 1960s and the Watergate Hearings of the 1970s, both of which John Doar was personally involved in. Doar grew up in New Richmond, the son of an attorney, and went on to become an attorney himself. He led the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department during the 1960s and had a hand in drafting the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Doar can be seen in many published photos accompanying James Meredith, the first black student enrolled at the University of Mississippi, as he walked onto campus for the first time. Doar later served as special counsel to the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigations of President Richard Nixon during the Watergate hearings.

About the Award

This award honors outstanding work in a new Wisconsin history public program. The award is presented to a Wisconsin organization that has launched an exceptional history public program during the preceding year. For more information, click here.


John Doar History Trail
150 W 1st St
New Richmond, WI 54017