Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Treasure of the State Library for February 2011- April 22, 1965 Address by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. to the General Court

On April 22nd, 1965, just six months after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Boston, the city where he had attended university. He spoke to a JOINT CONVENTION of the Massachusetts General Court. During the address, which is available in the State Library as House legislative document no.4155 of 1965, Dr. King referred to Massachusetts' favorite son, the late President John F. Kennedy. He noted how President Kennedy had, in June of 1963, called the Civil Rights movement not just a political and sociological problem, but also a moral one. King spoke of the need for legislation to address discrimination in housing. He invoked the need to end segregation in the public schools. And, he reiterated that he would continue to "preach a doctrine of nonviolence." Known for his beautiful oratory including "I have A Dream" and "Beyond Vietnam," the address to the legislature is also a strong presence among the civil rights leader's inspiring words.

Here is the address from the State Library's digital collections.

Pamela W. Schofield
Reference Department
State Library of Massachusetts