Remembering Martin Luther King's Speech at Columbia

Gary Shapiro
January 22, 2019

On October 27, 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a group of students, faculty, and members of the community at the McMillin Theatre (now Miller Theatre) at the invitation of The Columbia Owl, a then-weekly publication of the School of General Studies.

According to a Columbia Daily Spectator story on the event, King spoke eloquently about two campaigns of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which he was president. The first was a voter registration drive in Mississippi, where black voters had been disenfranchised for a century. The other was a push to get U.S. President John F. Kennedy to outlaw segregation in federal programs and other parts of American public life by executive order.

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