Thursday, October 19, 2000

Plates would honor road to freedom

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio could soon have a license plate honoring the history of the Underground Railroad in Ohio, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will hold a vote on the best design this weekend.

        Walkers who go to the Freedom Center's second annual “Walk as One” fund- raiser Saturday can vote on their favorite plate design. Some 3,000 walkers are expected, and they can also sign petitions to have the plates produced.

One plate design depicts a painting by Charles Weber
        “Ohio's role in the Underground Railroad journey is one we can all be proud of,” said Ed Rigaud, president and CEO of the Freedom Center.

        State law requires 1,000 signatures to be collected before the state legislature can authorize production of the specialty plates.

        The Freedom Center would use half of fees collected to fund Underground Railroad educational grants for Ohio school projects and the rest to support ongoing operations of the Freedom Center. The fees for the plates have not been determined, though specialty fees usually range up to $40.

        There are two designs walkers can choose from.

        • One pictures the Cincinnati Art Museum's “Underground Railroad” painting by Charles Weber.

        • The second features the Freedom Center's logo and faces of Underground Railroad heroes. Both promote the Freedom Center's web address —


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