Last Updated on September 2, 2016 by cassnetwork
Charles Burks, who was a federal agent during the 1950s when civil rights confrontations in the Deep South required federal intervention, is a regular customer at West Side Diner. On the wall next to the table where he usually sits with his wife is a Norman Rockwell portrait of an African-American girl going to school during the turbulent years of desegregation.
“As Labor Day weekend is approaching, we have to remember the careers of people like Charles Burks who had some of the toughest, emotionally draining jobs in the years when civil rights were front burner issues for our country,”
Mayor Dave Kitchell said Friday. “What many don’t realize is that someone who lives in Logansport was on the cutting edge of the really huge moments in desegregating portions of our country. If not for the countless federal agents like him, civil rights we take for granted today would not have been enforced then.”
In addition to being a government agent in peace time, Mr. Burks also served during World War II and was a prisoner of war. Despite efforts at the federal level, he has never been formally recognized by the military for his time as a POW.
Burks will receive a Bicentennial Citizen of the Week Award from the mayor and an Indiana state flag. The award is presented weekly to Logansport residents or natives who have distinguished themselves statewide, nationwide or worldwide.
SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell