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Before the "dream," there was Oklahoma City

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On Aug. 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the historic "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

This aerial view shows crowds at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. AP Photo
This aerial view shows crowds at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. AP Photo

His words have resonated throughout several generations. 

But, did you know that before he stood in Washington in front of a crowd of more than 200,000 people on that day, King visited Oklahoma City and spoke during a Freedom Rally on July 29, 1960, at Calvary Baptist Church?

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960.

About 1,500 filled the church to hear the words of the widely recognized civil rights leader. 

When he was told that Oklahoma City youth were planning to boycott downtown stores to desegregate restaurants, King commended the action, saying such efforts had been successful in Nashville. 

This was not King's first visit to Oklahoma City, though. He had been to Calvary Baptist church before. In 1953, after finishing Crozier Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, King preached at the church but was not retained as its pastor. 

Related Photos
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5698a7e9ac2e62593960eeac1e33d3b8.jpg" alt="Photo - The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960." title="The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960."><figcaption>The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Oklahoma City in 1960.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5e7121a84f7f2d61f9650f961531032f.jpg" alt="Photo - This aerial view shows crowds at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. AP Photo" title="This aerial view shows crowds at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. AP Photo"><figcaption>This aerial view shows crowds at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. AP Photo</figcaption></figure>
Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›

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