Monday, July 8, 2013

Sen. Orr will unveil historic marker to Olympic Medalist

Sen. Arthur Orr will unveil a historic marker for Olympic medalist David Donald Albritton on Friday, July 12 at 10 a.m. in Danville.  State Tourism Director Lee Sentell, Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long and Morgan County Commissioner Randy Vest will attend the ceremony.

Dave Albritton (1913-1994) was a Danville native who tied Cornelius Johnson for the World High Jump Record during the 1936 Olympic Trials in New York City. They were the first African-Americans to set the world mark.  Albritton won a silver medal at the XI Olympics in Berlin becoming the first Alabama native to win an Olympic track & field medal.  He competed in the Olympics with his lifelong friend and Oakville native Jesse Owens.

Albritton graduated from Ohio State University after the Olympic Games and became a coach leading three teams to the Ohio State High School Championships.  In 1960, he was elected as a Republican to the Ohio House of Representatives and became the first African-American to chair an Ohio House committee.  He completed six terms in the Ohio General Assembly.  Albritton was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1980. 

Morgan County resident and historical writer Tom Roberts encouraged the Alabama Tourism Department to recognize Albritton with the historic marker.  Roberts wrote the nationally syndicated column “American Chronicle” for the Chicago Tribune for more than seven years. The marker will be on a site 8.5 miles west of downtown Hartselle on AL Hwy. 36 next to Orr Cemetery and near the Danville Post Office.

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