Sponsored by W&L College Republicans, W&L School of Law Federalist Society, and W&L Students for Historical Preservation
Presented by The Honorable Rodney Mims Cook, Jr. in Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University at 7:30 pm EST
January 12, 2023
The Honorable Rodney Mims Cook, Jr., W&L ’78, has a presentation prepared for the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Cook is president of the National Monuments Foundation, which recently completed the Rodney Cook, Sr. Peace Park in downtown Atlanta, named by the city for his father, the Honorable Rodney Mims Cook, Sr., W&L ’48. Cook, Sr. was a public servant from 1960-1980 and was a close friend of Martin Luther King, Sr., (called Daddy King, and later MLK, Jr. Cook, Sr. was guided to the King family and their ministry due to his solitary studies of Robert E. Lee in Lee Chapel. His W&L career was interrupted in the middle by World War II. Cook served on the USS DuPage (with six Battle Stars, the most for a ship of its type in the Pacific Fleet) and witnessed a kamikaze plane fly into the bridge that he had just departed killing all of his mates. His Navy experience caused an aversion to extreme heat, which the W&L main library reminded him of upon returning to school. Because of this, Dean Frank Gilliam allowed Cook, Sr. to study alone in Lee Chapel. Cook, Sr. was valedictorian of his class, Summa Cum Laude, and Omicron Delta Kappa. He is typically in the top 100 most notable alumni of Washington and Lee University.
Robert E. Lee’s very role as president of Washington College, as Cook, Jr. believes it, was to reunify the nation and bring Americans back together. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ministry, as both Cook, Sr. and Jr. personally knew it, was a pastor unifying the nation and bringing Americans together. Cook, Sr. worked very closely with Dr. King to keep Atlanta peaceful during the Civil Rights Movement. They were successful, and again, this partnership was due to the spiritual influence of Robert E. Lee.
Republics are fragile. Amidst America’s turmoil today we hope you will find Rodney Cook’s address to be in the same spirit of Peace and Reconciliation as that of Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Please donate to The Generals Redoubt to pay for professional research related to defending Lee Chapel as a National Historic Landmark, for future funding to educate students about the rich history and legacy of Robert E. Lee, and to help bring back diversity of thought. As of January 1, 2023 confidential contributors have given a new matching gift of $125,000. We need your help if we are to save Lee Chapel as a campus and national treasure. Thank you in advance for your support. Information on how to contribute is found at https://www.thegeneralsredoubt.us/support
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