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Kidd, Mae Street, 1904-

Biography:

Mae Street Kidd served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1968 to 1984, representing Louisville's 41st legislative district. She sponsored legislation to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a state holiday as well as bills to provide open housing and low-income housing in Kentucky. Passage of the "Representative Mae Street Kidd Bill" created the Kentucky Housing Corporation. But Kidd's proudest accomplishment in the General Assembly, she always told interviewers, was her campaign concerning three long-neglected amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Kentucky had never ratified the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery; the 14th, which extended full citizenship rights to African Americans; or the 15th, which gave black men the right to vote. In 1976, more than 100 years after they became law, Kentucky's General Assembly finally corrected the historical oversight and unanimously ratified all three. Kidd also organized the first Louisville Urban League Guild, in 1948, and served as president of the Lincoln Foundation. The NAACP gave her its Unsung Heroine Award, and she received a Louisville Mayor's Citation for Outstanding Community Service. She died in 1999. Daughter of a white father who never acknowledged her, Kidd was more than three-fourths white--but legally black by the standards of the early 20th century. Throughout her life, she struggled for acceptance in both the white and black communities. ("Mae Street Kidd," Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky WWW site, retrieved March 14, 2008.)

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