Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. toured and spoke in New Jersey many times. The photo above is from the Star Ledger when he toured Newark on March 27, 1968. Honor him today by finding some community service projects. Visit MLKDay.gov to find projects near you!
Here’s another picture of him in Newark thanks to the Star Ledger. This time he’s addressing students at Southside High School.
He spoke at least twice in Jersey City. On September 21, 1965, he received an honorary Doctor of Law from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. Dr. King gave an address titled “The American Dream.” On Wednesday, March 27, 1968, eight days before his death, nearly 2,000 heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church in Jersey City. Dr. King encouraged support for his upcoming “Poor People’s Campaign.”
On a tour of historic African-American Paterson churches last October, we stopped at the Bethel AME Church at Governor and Auburn Streets. Formerly a Dutch Reformed church, the Bethel AME congregation was the last public speaking engagement for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on March 27, 1968, before he headed to Memphis and his ultimate assassination there.
Ed asked if the church was packed that day and tour guide Jimmy Richardson who lived across the street from the church as a boy said it was standing room only inside and the streets outside the church were filled as well. There is a tale that speakers were placed outside the church so people could hear but according to Richardson this was not the case.
Rosa Parks also spoke here so there was a lot of history to revisit here with Mr. Richardson. You could hear how proud he was of his home church. Across the street from the church the community is putting up a memorial park for many of the historical figures that graced Auburn Street. Keep Dr. King’s messages in your hearts today and every day.
Copyright, You Don’t Know Jersey, LLC (2010-2020)