Before the Dream: Martin Luther King's 1963 Speech, and Civil Rights Struggles in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Before the Dream: Martin Luther King's 1963 Speech, and Civil Rights Struggles in Fort Wayne, Indiana

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1963. It is a year stamped as one of the most turbulent during the Civil Rights movement. Centuries of racial oppression were confronted with peaceful protests challenging segregation laws. Responses to protests were often met with brutality. Four young girls were murdered in a church bombing. Police dogs and fire hoses were unleashed on adolescents in Birmingham, Alabama. Medgar Evers was assassinated by a member of the KKK. 1963 also included the March on Washington, highlighted by Dr. Martin Luther King's uplifting I Have a Dream speech.

Civil Rights conflict was not contained to the South. Similar battles were waged throughout the nation. The future Nobel Peace Prize winner accepted an invitation from a close friend to speak in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on June 5, 1963, to address these struggles. Although Dr. King's speech was enthusiastically received by his supporters, resistance to his appearance in this conservative, blue-collar Midwestern city were also plentiful. Bomb threats were delivered. Letters to the editor were submitted expressing opposition to Dr. King's visit. Protestors picketed across the street during the event. Local law enforcement feared violence was possible.

June 5, 1963 would become Dr. King's only visit to Fort Wayne. But the legacy of that one visit continues to resonate, sandwiched between unrest in Birmingham, and the March on Washington.



Author: Christopher Elliott
Publisher: America Through Time
Published: 07/26/2021
Pages: 144
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.53lbs
Size: 9.13h x 6.14w x 0.47d
ISBN: 9781634993401