The city of Wilmington celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday today by unveiling a kiosk honoring the underground railroad. It underscores just how much history there is in the Port City.
”He said in 1865 that on the whole Wilmington has changed, and today on January 15, 2010 that on the whole Wilmington has changed,” said William Gould IV.
Gould is speaking of his great grandfather and the change he helped bring to the Port City and to America by fighting for his freedom.
“Nearly 150 years ago, William Gould the first boarded up on a boat with 21 others sailing out the Cape Fear River to freedom.”
It's a story many don't realize, slaves escaping Wilmington and then joining up with the Union forces to help free friends the slaves left behind.
Now, the event is commemorated where it all began with an informational kiosk.
“A lot of people don't know the history of it, and so this will be quite educational for citizens of Wilmington and for many of our young people. It will teach us about the underground railroad and that some of it was right here in Wilmington,” said Earl Sheridan, Wilmington Mayor pro-tem.
For the Goulds it's something special to see what their ancestor fought for.
“I think it's a powerful experience,” said William B Gould the fifth. “You know, Wilmington is a big part of our family, and seeing all the people here today was just fantastic.”
Much has changed since the first William Gould left Wilmington. On this day, the birthday of Martin Luther King, the city came together to honor the actions he took to help fight for what was right, the freedom of his people.