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Jackie Robinson

Receives Hero's Funeral

About 2,500 people turned out for Robinson's funeral at New York's Riverside Church on October 27, 1972. Rev. Jesse Jackson enthusiastically recounted the events of Robinson's life and delivered the eulogy to a crowd that cheered more as though it was celebrating a ninth-inning home run than a funeral.

According to the Boston Globe, Jackson said, "When Jackie took the field, something within us reminded us of our birthright to be free. And somebody without reminded us that it could be attained. There was strength and pride and power when the big rock hit the water, and concentric circles came forth and ripples of new possibility spread throughout the nation."

"… For a fleeting moment, America tried democracy, and it worked. For a fleeting moment, America became one nation under God. This man turned the stumbling block into a stepping stone." Jackson also noted that Robinson's tombstone read "1919-1972. On that dash, is where we live," according to Stout's book. "And for everyone there is a dash of possibility, to choose the high road or the low road, to make things better or worse."

Even in his death, Robinson remained an inspiration to African-Americans. He was buried at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, the area of the city where he fought the hardest to make a difference.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBaseballJackie Robinson Biography - Born To A Sharecropper, Chronology, Multi-sport Star, Part Of Noble Experiment, The Negro Leagues: A Brief History