On this day in 1968, Governor John Volpe dedicated the Melnea Cass Swimming and Skating Rink in Roxbury. The new facility was intended to improve life in Boston's urban neighborhoods. It was named for a woman who had dedicated her life to the same cause. Melnea Cass had spent nearly half a century working for economic and racial justice. Admired for her selflessness, common sense, and generosity, she was respected by the city's power brokers as a forceful and effective advocate for social change. When she died in 1978, Mrs. Cass had received honorary doctorates and been named "Massachusetts Mother of the Year" and a "Grand Bostonian." The honors did not end with her death. Melnea Cass Boulevard in Lower Roxbury opened in the summer of 1981.