YORK -- The Western York County branch of the NAACP celebrated the national organization's 100th anniversary Thursday night at Langrum Branch Baptist Church in York.
"This night is monumental. It's great. People are celebrating this night across the country," said Steve Love, president of the Western York County NAACP branch.
Thursday also was the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth.
"To be part of the biggest civil rights organization in the world, it's exciting. It's been a grass-roots organization. People saw changes that needed to be made in their communities, and they stuck with it," Love said.
The Western York County branch is one of two branches in the county, the other located in Rock Hill, Love said. The group also used the occasion to celebrate advancements in black education over the last century.
"It's an opportunity to celebrate some of the elder educators in York and Clover," Love said.
The event, attended by about 100 people, featured hymns, scripture readings and musical performances.
"When you look at what this country has been through in the past 100 years, we have a lot to be proud of, not just for African-Americans, but for everyone," said Russell Booker, superintendent of the York school district. "We are where we are today because of the sacrifices of a lot of people ... a lot of organizations. The NAACP is one of those organizations, and for them to think enough of me to have me speak on this occasion, I'm honored."
Booker spoke to the audience about landmark events in the past 100 years of the civil rights movement: when the NAACP was founded in 1909; when Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., was desegregated in 1957; and when President Barack Obama became president in January.
Booker cited the events as critical milestones in history but spoke about how the NAACP has work to do still, including helping decrease unemployment among blacks and continuing to help improve the education system.
"We need to work as a country toward an educated citizenry. It would help solve a lot of our economic, political and social problems," Booker said.