Seeing Another Side Of Jackie Robinson: Five Things You Didn’t Know About The Brooklyn Dodger Great

JackieRobinsonSidebar_051316.Documentary The latest Ken Burns documentary to be released was Jackie Robinson, a four-hour, 2-DVD set. This film not only recounts the Baseball Hall of Famer’s oft-covered 1947 season when he broke the color line as a rookie playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but his post-sports life as a civil rights advocate and his involvement with the national political scene. Burns’ daughter Sarah, who served as a director and producer with her father and David McMahon for this project and wrote it along with the latter, gained a newer perspective on Robinson while editing down 14 hours of footage and doing extensive research into his non-baseball life. Here are five of the more intriguing facts about Jackie Robinson she came across that most people are unaware of.

JackieRobinsonSidebar_051316.Woolworths1.

He stood up to segregation in Pasadena, CA as a teenager: he moved down from the segregated balcony of the movie theater onto the main floor, and when the staff behind a Woolworth’s lunch counter was reluctant to serve him, he stayed on his stool until someone did.

JackieRobinsonSidebar_051316.JackieRobinsonMilitary2.

Second Lieutenant Jack Robinson was court-martialed for insubordination after refusing to move to the back of a military bus in Fort Hood, TX, in 1944. He was acquitted by an all-white panel of officers.

3.

JackieRobinsonSidebar_051316.RichardNixonJackie Robinson initially campaigned for Richard Nixon for president in 1960 and didn’t trust John F. Kennedy to be a champion for civil rights. Robinson later rescinded his support for Nixon.

(Photo courtesy of David S. Johnson, Library of Congress)4.

Robinson (second from left) was a special delegate to the 1964 Republican convention, but ultimately voted to reelect President Johnson when Barry Goldwater became the Republican nominee.

JackieRobinsonSidebar_051316.Columnist5.

He published a column in the black-run Pittsburgh Courier called “Jackie Robinson Says” that ran during his rookie season. He later had a column in the New York Post from 1959 to 1960.


Learn more about the great Jackie Robinson in Digging Deeper: Jackie Robinson’s Post-Baseball Life.

Digging Deeper Into Jackie Robinson’s Life: Post-Baseball Life Featured In New Documentary

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Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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