COLLINSVILLE – More than 70 years after they were signed, two historic contracts hailed by some experts as the founding documents of the civil rights movement, will be unveiled at Collinsville City Hall.
Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play professional baseball by breaking the color barrier on Oct. 23, 1945, when Robinson signed his minor league contract with the Montreal Royals. Eighteen months later, he completed “The Great Experiment” when he signed a contract to play in the Major Leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 11, 1947.
The contracts will be unveiled at noon Friday, Aug. 26.
“It’s an honor for me to unveil for the first time ever in a small city in America, Collinsville, Ill., these two seminal documents that changed the course of American history and reinforced our American ideals of freedom and justice for all Americans,” said Mykalai Kontilai founder and CEO of Collectors Café.
He said the contracts serve as the initial cornerstone of what he calls a new concept in collectibles. Collectors Café debuted April 11 as the first integrated social network and auction house backed by authenticity insurance to serve the entire collectibles industry, he said.
Kontilai will be bestowed with the city’s highest honor by Mayor John Miller when he receives the Key to the City.
“The City of Collinsville is honored and humbled to be able to host these historical civil rights documents for our residents to view,” Miller said.
Kontilai said he wanted to thank the mayor, City Manager Mitchell Bair, “and my dear friends, Kevin and Debbie Weinacht, who worked tirelessly through their advocacy and continuing efforts to make this event possible. … It’s cities like Collinsville that make up the true fabric of America.”
City of Collinsville Website: http://www.collinsvilleil.org/
Collectors Café Website: https://www.collectorscafe.com/
— From the Illinois Business Journal