The Shake

Loyola captain Jerry Harkness (left) shakes hands with Mississippi State team captain Joe Dan Gold before the start of their NCAA Mideast regional first-round game March 15, 1963.

FLEMINGSBURG -- Rose Marie Gold, widow of former Mississippi State basketball player and Mason County Superintendent Joe Dan Gold, and former Loyola basketball team captain Jerry Harkness will be at the Fleming County Library on Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m.

You may recall the NCAA photo of a black player, Jerry Harkness, from Loyola and a white player from Mississippi State shaking hands at midcourt. Joe Dan Gold was that white player, and they made history that evening as the first team from Mississippi to play against a team with black players.

The focus of their presentation will be on the historic event, “The Game of Change” with implications of the progression of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.

The story behind the handshake is told in the documentary, The Game of Change: Documenting the 1963 Mississippi State vs. Loyola, Ill. Basketball Game, and is available for check-out at the library.

Rose Marie Gold will reflect on the different roads Joe Dan Gold and Harkness traveled, the admiration and respect they have gained in the sports world and how things changed in their professional and personal lives.  Remaining friends throughout life, Harkness attended Gold’s funeral in 2011 unannounced and that allowed for the Gold/Harkness story to come full circle.

Harkness played professional basketball for the Indiana Pacers and was a television sports broadcaster in Indianapolis. He continues to work with the youth in Indianapolis.

Joe Dan Gold was a former Fleming County High School principal and coach and is recognized as the youngest college coach ever at age 23. 

Rose Marie Gold resides in Loveland, Ohio, and has remained in touch throughout the years with former associates and students from Fleming County.  Most recently, she returned to perform THE STOMP with members of her 1977-1982 squads at a FCHS Varsity game. 

Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox

Special Memories with Rose Marie Gold and Jerry Harkness is a companion project to the Fleming County Library’s Smithsonian exhibit, Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America. Hometown Teams is made possible in Fleming County by Kentucky Humanities. Hometown Teams is a part of the Museum on Main Street, and a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institute and the State Humanities Councils nationwide. 

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

This program is free and available to the public. Disability accommodations are available upon request. For more information, please call 606.845.7851.


Load comments