Two new inductees placed in Alabama Hall of Fame

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Hundreds gathered at Birmingham's The Club Tuesday to honor two new inductees into the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame.  Herbert Clark Stockham and Martin Luther King, Jr. were both honored by the organization, which was established in 1987 by the Alabama state legislature.  "We like our Alabama citizens to know that all heroes have come from other parts of the country," said Hall of Fame chairman Elouise Williams.  "But Alabama has its own lion share of men who've blazed trails to make this a better state."

Several of Stockham's family members were on hand for the presentation and unveiling of a bronzed plaque that will hang on in the Harwell Goodwin Library inside Samford University.  Stockham was remembered for turning the foundry business his father started into an international valve and fittings company in the early 1900s.  But it was the compassion he had towards employees that earned him equal respect.   In hopes of improving their lives, he provided housing, a company medical dispensary and a night school.  His great granddaughter, Virginia Tucker never met her great grandfather but says hearing all the stories about him at Tuesday's ceremony was insightful.  "It's definitely a special honor," she said after the event. "I don't think I realized all the accomplishments he did until today."

Inductions are a little more common for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Although King was not a native Alabamian, he spent years in the state fighting for civil rights and bringing that struggle to national attention. That's why his daughter, Bernice, says the award is ironic considering all that her father endured here.  "This honor today with the Alabama Hall of Fame is preeminent to the rest of them because this is the place where everything was birthed," Bernice King said.  "It's like tragedy to triumph is what this represents."  Ironically, Corretta Scott King, Dr. King's wife, was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame earlier this year.