A Celebration of the Lives of John Hope and Aurelia Whittington Franklin

The FranklinsDuke University hosts A Celebration of the Lives of John Hope and Aurelia Whittington Franklin, to honor the late historian and his late wife on the anniversary of their marriage on June 11, 1940. UNC-TV presents this event from Duke Chapel including high-profile speakers such as President Bill Clinton, who appointed John Hope Franklin to chair a national task force on race and attorney and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, Franklin’s longtime friend.

The Franklins’ son and daughter-in-law, John Whittington and Karen Roberts Franklin, arranged the celebration, which incorporates a number of other speakers including a variety of Franklin family and friends, as well as an array of musical performances.

Featured speakers:

    William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
    Vernon Jordan, attorney and long-time friend

Other guest speakers:

    Vivian Mildred Corbett Bailey, childhood friend of Dr. Franklin
    Richard H. Brodhead, president, Duke University
    Thavolia Glymph, professor, Duke University
    Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, professor, Harvard University
    David Levering Lewis, professor, New York University
    Emily Mann, director, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
    Genna Rae McNeil, professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, trustee emerita, Duke University
    Cynthia Gibbs Wilson, niece of John Hope and Aurelia Franklin

Musical performances include:

    Fisk University Jubilee Singers
    Aurelia, In Memoriam (1999) by T.J. Anderson
    Eric Pritchard, violin, Duke University
    In Memoriam John Hope Franklin (2009) by T.J. Anderson
    James Ketch, trumpet, University of North Carolina

And for more on the early life and times of this civil rights pioneer, don't miss a special encore presentation of the first installment of the UNC-TV series, Biographical Conversations with John Hope Franklin.