The Gloved One went back to his hometown of Gary, Indiana, for the first time in 20 years. Mayor Scott King presented him with the key to the city. The mayor reminded him not to stay away so long now that he has the key.
Jackson received several other mementos, including a street sign for 600
West Jackson Street, which was named after the famous family. Jackson
Street in other parts of the city was actually named after Andrew
In addition, the mayor read from a letter announcing an agreement
between Jackson and the city to build the Michael Jackson Performing
Arts Center. Jackson signed the letter and is expected to be very
involved with the project.
Jackson was not expected to speak to the press, but did, saying he was being treated like a king.
"It's great to be home," Jackson said. "Your hospitality is overwhelming."
The pop star called it a "wonderful, magical day."
Fans from as far away as Canada and Mississippi waited outside for hours
to get a glimpse of the superstar. Crowds line the streets as he waved
and signed autographs after the news conference.
Jackson has a full day planned in his hometown including a walk down
memory lane at his boyhood home and a tribute to Gary military troops.