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On April 5, 1976, Ted Landsmark -- then, attorney for Black construction firms seeking their fair share of city contracts -- was crossing Boston City Hall plaza en route to a meeting with the mayor and unaware of a demonstration brewing on the steps. Supporters of antibusing proponent Louise Day Hicks yelled, "Get the nigger! Kill him!" and lunged after him. He was grabbed from behind, his arms were pinned, and he was speared with the American flag to which the crowd had just pledged its allegiance. The candid photo, "The Soiling of Old Glory," later won a Pulitzer Prize for its photographer, Stanley Forman of the Boston Herald American.
In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police in Minneapolis, the Boston Herald American published a follow-up: "Ted Landsmark applauds new beginning for Boston race relations: Mayor’s declaration calling racism a health crisis brings back memories of photo that shook the world."
source: Janus Adams, Glory Days: 365 Inspired Moments in African-American History [HarperCollins, 1995]
W. Mark Colvson, in New Paltz
Dean, Sojourner Truth Library at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Library.NewPaltz.edu
The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Where were you when? What did it mean in your life, what was its effect on American society, on the world, and what does it mean for us now – more than years later? And, as always, where do we go from here? With us on the show today are three guests who experienced that time and lived to tell the tale.
Amid unrelenting criticism and death threats, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his landmark antiwar speech, Beyond Vietnam at the Riverside Church in New York City (pictured above, left) on April 4, 1967.
On March 31, 1968 he delivered what would become his last sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC (pictured above, right). Three days later, on April 3, he delivered his final speech, I've Been to the Mountaintop (also heard on the show) in Memphis. He'd traveled there in support of striking garbage workers, He was murdered the following day, April 4, 1968.
For more information about these speeches, visit The Martin Luther King, Jr.. Research and Education Instituteat Stanford University which houses the King Papers Project.
For students, teachers, and homeschoolers: The King Institute's Liberation Curriculum provides document-based lessons, online educational resources, and historical materials on the modern African American Freedom Struggle and King's vision of a just and peaceful world.