Students of the famed Lincoln Normal School of Perry County, Alabama, will be honored and awarded Gold Medals during the annual Jimmie Lee Jackson Day Program. The program is set for 2:00 p.m. on February 19, 2023, from the Marion Baptist Academy Auditorium in Marion. Former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and son of civil rights icon Jesse Jackson, Sr. will be the guest speaker. All Lincoln students are asked to attend and serve as special guests.
Lincoln School students were the spark that led to the jailing of S.C.L.C Field Director James Orange. The arrest of Orange caused S.C.L.C. State Director and Perry County Civic League President Albert Turner, Sr., to call a night march to secure Mr. Orange’s safety while incarcerated in the Perry County jail. The night march was the scene of Jimmie Lee Jackson’s death which birth the Selma to Montgomery March. The Jimmie Lee Jackson Day program is the official kickoff of the Selma To Montgomery March reenactment Jubilee.
Lincoln School became well known for graduating a high proportion of students who went on to attain advanced degrees, a remarkable achievement for any school but more particularly for a segregated high school in rural Alabama.
The school closed in 1970 when it was consolidated with the newly built and racially integrated Francis Marion High School.
One of the few buildings remaining on the campus site is the Phillips Memorial Auditorium, now on the National Register of Historic Places and the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The Lincoln High School Gymnasium was also added to the Alabama Register on February 29, 2005.
The school’s roots go back to a Union Army soldier who remained in Marion after the Civil War to teach newly freed African Americans. His efforts proved successful, and in 1867, the school was incorporated with the support of African Americans from the surrounding Perry County.
Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, was born at Lincoln School.