New Hampshire mourns civil rights leader Hilson on MLK Day
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is both observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day and mourning the death of a man who led efforts to establish the holiday in the state.
The Rev. Arthur Hilson, of Portsmouth, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at age 82.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was governor in 1999 when New Hampshire became the last state to officially recognize the holiday. She called Hilson a “beacon of wisdom and grace” who leaves behind a tremendous legacy through his leadership on civil rights.
Hilson, the longtime pastor at New Hope Baptist Church, also taught at Portsmouth High School and was U.S. Navy veteran who had served in Korea and Vietnam. Celia Hilson told the Portsmouth Herald her father wanted to make an impact, and she believes he did just that.
Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com