Progress Slow on Restoration of Civil Rights Leader's Home

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Organizers say they are still trying to get enough funding to turn the home of civil rights leaders L.C. and Daisy Bates into a museum.  The home was named a national landmark seven years ago.  Daisy Bates served as a mentor to the nine black students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Supporters say they fell short of the $185,000 needed to repair the house and open it to the public.

Logan Hampton, president of the Christian Ministerial Alliance, which owns the Little Rock home, says some of the work on the home has been completed, though fundraising has been slow.

Hampton says more work is needed before it can be opened to the public for regular tours.  The alliance and the L.C. & Daisy Bates Museum Foundation, Inc. unveiled a fundraising campaign for the restoration project and accepted a $75,000 donation from AT&T in late 2006.

In 1941, Bates founded the Arkansas State Press and turned the weekly newspaper into a leading voice of the civil rights movement in Little Rock.  The paper closed in 1959 when it lost advertisers who said they were being pressured by segregationists, though it re-opened in the mid-1980s under new ownership.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)