Lions Municipal Golf Course National Register of Historic Places Marker Dedication, Oct 22, 2016

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Ben Crenshaw and Lions club member Scott Hendrix

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect as hundreds attended the Lions Municipal Golf Course National Register of Historic Places Marker Dedication Saturday, October 22. The greens were filled with SAVE MUNY supporters, decedents of the “Legends of Lions”, professional golfers and community leaders to witness the unveiling of the dedication marker.

On July 7, 2016, The National Park Service listed Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin in the National Register of Historic Places for historic locations worthy of preservation.  This designation is due to the fact that “Muny” has been recognized as the first golf course in the South to be desegregated.

History was made in 1950 when two black youths walked onto the course and were allowed to play, effectively opening the course to African-American golfers from across Texas and beyond.  Boxing legend Joe Louis played the course in 1951 and again in 1953. This early desegregation occurred years ahead of Brown vs. The Board of Education which overturned separate but equal laws in the United States.  The Austin community and University of Texas alumni from around the world have proudly welcomed this designation and offered their support for a solution that preserves the course in its entirety.

Ben Crenshaw and Will Wilson
Ben Crenshaw and Will Wilson

The emcee, Ed Clements, recognized honored guests and speakers including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of District 30, Congressman Lloyd Doggett of District 35, Hall of Fame Golfer Ben Crenshaw, and Austin's Volma Overton Jr.  Sheri Gallo read the City of Austin proclamation stating the historic dedication.  Long time MUNY supporter, Pastor Joseph C Parker of the David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church gave the invocation followed by the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Men’s Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Leroy Davis leading the hymns.

General Marshall and Dr. William Bacon MD had the honor of unveiling the marker. General Marshall was a young boy when he began to caddy at Lions. He played his first round at Lions in 1952 and continues to play there to this day.

After the unveiling, cameras were clicking as attendees gathered around the Lion statue, which has stood in that spot since 1924, to hold hands and show their support for the venerable course and its special role in the desegregation of Austin.