DENVER — Fifty years have passed since Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4,1968.
Old-time Denverites may remember Dr. King's stops here. He visited the University of Denver twice in the years before his death.
On Jan. 24, 1964, he spoke in the old Student Union building in front of about 600 people. Student journalists wrote about the event in the DU newspaper. During his visit, the papers said he pointed out that we should "think of the world as a brotherhood," and said people have a "responsibility to end the notion once and for all taht there are superior and inferior races."
King encouraged the people there to peacefully demonstrate against segregation and to support a civil rights law.
"King rejected the idea that legislation and judicial and executive decrees can not solve problems of discrimination," the paper said, going on to quote King: "The law can't make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me."
He said the same thing, according to the paper, when he visited on on May, 18, 1967 - less than one year before he died. He spoke at the DU Fieldhouse, where the Ritchie Center now stands, after he was invited by the DU Student Senate. About 2,000 people showed up then; that filled about half the arena.
The title of his talk was, "The Future of Integration." It was one buck to attend if you were a DU student or a member of the faculty. Two dollars for everyone else.
According to the First Baptist Church of Denver, he also spoke there on April 16, 1962.