NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Attorney Mike Cody will discuss his work as an ACLU cooperating attorney representing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the days leading up to King’s assassination in a conversation on Saturday, September 22. The event, “A Witness to History: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Last Days in Memphis,” will explore King’s fight to march in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, despite the city’s prohibition of the march. Cody will also discuss 1960s Memphis and the ACLU’s history in Tennessee.
“This discussion with Mr. Cody could not be more timely,” said ACLU-TN Executive Director Hedy Weinberg. “Fifty years after Dr. King’s assassination, history is repeating itself – just last month we went to court once again to challenge police spying and protect the free speech of Memphis activists. Mr. Cody had a front row seat to history in the making, and we very much look forward to learning from his experiences.”
Cody has been practicing law with Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC in Memphis since 1961, except for the time he spent in public service. He served as the Attorney General of Tennessee from 1984 to 1988, was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee from 1977 to 1981, and served on the Memphis City Council from 1975 to 1977. Among many other achievements, Cody has taught at numerous Tennessee colleges and universities, founded Memphis Neighborhood Legal Services, served as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, been inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and personally argued four cases before the United States Supreme Court.
Cody’s talk marks the fiftieth anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. The event will begin with a reception at 1 p.m. in celebration of the organization’s anniversary. The discussion will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
The event, co-sponsored by Nashville Public Library, will be held at the Main Library located at 615 Church Street. It is free and open to the public.
At the forefront of civil liberties battles across Tennessee, ACLU-TN employs a range of strategies including advocacy, education, legislative lobbying and litigation to ensure that Tennesseans’ constitutional freedoms are being protected. An affiliate of the national ACLU, ACLU-TN is a private, non-profit, non-partisan membership organization.
The programs, services and activities of the Nashville Public Library are open to all. To request a disability (ADA) accommodation, please call the Equal Access Division at 615-862-5750.