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Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Marietta College Visit

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In honor of the holiday we take a look back at when Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Marietta College.

As part of the Thomas lecture series in 1967, Dr. King spoke at Marietta College's Ban Johnson Field House.

Lew Yeager has since retired from Marietta College, but at the time he was the man who put the whole visit together.

Yeager says because of weather he postponed his visit twice.

Finally Yeager picked him up from the airport on March 2, 1967.

He spent around five hours on campus, answering more questions afterwards and going out to lunch.

"Well he came in a private plane, with his assistant Rev. Lee. He wasn't feeling well, he had symptoms of the flu and so we didn't do a lot of talking or joking and he had a very dry sense of humor," said Yeager, Former Chairman of the Thomas Lecture Series.

King gave some of his famous speeches but he also spoke about new ideas for the first time at Marietta called "creative maladjustment".

Yeager says they were at capacity, pre-sold tickets and there were some security concerns.

Yeager says it was a big deal to have Dr. King come to Marietta at this time and it stirred up some controversy throughout the community.

Photos attached to this story were provided by Marietta College Special Collections.


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