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Lot 153

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Rare 1962 Program Honoring Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson

Softwrap Program Brochure, 9" x 11.75", titled "The President's First Award Night". Dated "April 30, 1962" and held at Irvine Auditorium. This was organized by the "New Era Theological Institute" in Pennsylvania, and sponsored by "The Baptist Minister's Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity". See one of the images for the entire program, of which including honoring Awards to Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson. Near fine condition.

In the year of this brochure,  Jack Roosevelt Robinson was Inducted to the Hall of Fame, and below is a review of MLK's important historical highlights both surrounding and leading up to the date of this program:

1960: On January 20, MLK moves to Atlanta and becomes co-pastor, with his father, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Lunch counter sit-ins begin on February 1 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee is founded on April 15 to coordinate student protests at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and elsewhere. MLK is the keynote speaker at the event. In Atlanta, on October 19, MLK is arrested during a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant. He is sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by then presidential candidate John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, MLK is released.

1961: On May 4, soon after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in interstate transportation, Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) demonstrators begin the first Freedom Ride through the South, traveling as a racially mixed group on a Greyhound bus. On May 21, MLK addresses a mass rally in support of another group of Freedom Riders at a mob-besieged church in Montgomery, Alabama.  In November, the Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation in interstate travel in response to the Freedom Riders’ protests.  On December 15, MLK arrives in Albany, Georgia, at the request of the leader of the Albany protest, to desegregate public facilities there. The following day, at a demonstration attended by seven hundred protesters, MLK is arrested for obstructing the sidewalk and parading without a permit.

1962: Following the unsuccessful Albany, Georgia, movement, MLK is tried and convicted on July 10 for leading the march the previous December. He is arrested again on July 27 and jailed for holding a prayer vigil in Albany. He leaves jail on August 10 and agrees to halt demonstrations there. On October 16, he meets with President Kennedy at the White House.

1963 Sit-in demonstrations begin in February in Birmingham, Alabama. On April 3, the Birmingham campaign is officially launched. On Good Friday, April 12, Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor arrests MLK and Ralph Abernathy for demonstrating without a permit. During the days he spends jailed, MLK writes his historic “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” On April 19, MLK and Abernathy are released on bond.

During May 2-7, Birmingham police use fire hoses and dogs against the Children’s Crusade. More than one thousand demonstrators, mostly high school students, are jailed. Protest leaders suspend mass demonstrations as negotiations begin on May 8. Two days later, the Birmingham agreement is announced. The stores, restaurants, and schools will be desegregated; hiring of blacks implemented; and charges dropped against the protesters. The day after the settlement is reached, segregationists bomb the Gaston Motel where MLK was staying.

On May 13, federal troops arrive in Birmingham. The Birmingham protests prove to be the turning point in the war to end legal segregation in the South.

On June 11, President Kennedy announces new civil rights legislation. Kennedy is the first U.S. president to say publicly that segregation is legally and morally wrong. On June 23, MLK leads 125,000 people on a Freedom Walk in Detroit. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28 is the largest civil rights demonstration in history with nearly 250,000 marchers. MLK leads the march for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators demand an end to state-supported segregation and equal job opportunities.

At the march, MLK makes his memorable “I Have a Dream” speech. On September 15 in Birmingham, a dynamite blast kills four black girls attending Sunday school at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. MLK delivers the eulogy for the four girls on September 22. President Kennedy is assassinated on November 22.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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