Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Volume IV: Symbol of a Movement, January 1957 - December 1958, Chronology

Back to Volumes


Date Event


1 Jan
At noon King delivers “Facing the Challenge of a New Age,” at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta for the local NAACP. In the evening he speaks at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
2 Jan
The Montgomery City Commission decides to hire extra police and extend a 5 P.M. curfew for one week to prevent further violence against newly integrated buses. King and other Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) leaders meet with bus company officials to discuss the situation.
3 Jan
After anonymous handbills discrediting him appear in Montgomery’s black community, King dismisses the circulars as a futile attempt to undermine the movement.
6 Jan
King preaches “Great Expectations” at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
9 Jan
At Atlanta University King addresses southern black leaders during a conference organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
10 Jan
In the early morning four black churches and the parsonages of MIA leaders Robert Graetz and Ralph Abernathy are bombed in Montgomery. The Montgomery City Commission halts all bus service in the wake of the morning’s violence. King and Abernathy, in Atlanta for the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration at Ebenezer Baptist Church, are forced to return home and miss the opening session. In the afternoon King meets with FBI agents in Montgomery and requests that they investigate the bombings.
11 Jan
While King is still in Montgomery, black leaders in Atlanta name him chairman of the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration. King later returns to the conference where he and other leaders issue telegrams to President Dwight Eisenhower and other government officials, urging their support in ending southern segregation.
13 Jan
King preaches at Dexter and later addresses an overflow crowd at First Baptist Church in Nashville. 
14 Jan King reportedly collapses while speaking during an MIA meeting at Bethel Baptist Church.
15 Jan At a Montgomery press conference, King denounces a plan by white business leaders to establish a private bus line and downplays reports of his collapse the previous evening.
20 Jan King preaches “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians” at Ebenezer while his father preaches at Dexter.
21 Jan
King delivers “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians” at the twenty-fifth anniversary program of the Minnesota State Pastors Conference in St. Paul. Following the speech, he departs for a National Baptist Convention meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 
27 Jan
After a Montgomery police officer finds twelve unexploded sticks of dynamite on the porch of King’s home, King calms a gathering crowd by calling for nonviolence. Later in the morning at Dexter’s Sunday service, King reveals to the congregation his vision of one year earlier in which a divine voice told him to lead the bus struggle without fear.
28 Jan
King addresses an MIA meeting at Mt. Zion AME Zion Church.
1 Feb
In the New Orleans Coliseum Arena, King speaks at a rally sponsored by the United Clubs.
4 Feb During an MIA meeting at St. John’s AME Church, King urges the audience to forgive the seven white men charged with acts of violence against integrated buses and boycott leaders. 
6 Feb King’s article, “Nonviolence and Racial Justice,” appears in Christian Century.
7 Feb At noon King recounts “The Montgomery Story” to students in Finney Chapel at Oberlin College. In the afternoon he delivers “Justice Without Violence” at Oberlin’s First Church and later participates in a panel discussion, “The New Negro in the New South.”
8 Feb In New York City King records an appearance for the NBC television program “The Open Mind.” The program is broadcast two days later.
10 Feb From pulpits across the nation pastors read King’s “For All-A Non-Segregated Society,” a message he wrote for Race Relations Sunday sponsored by the National Council of Churches.
11 Feb In observance of the forty-eighth anniversary of the NAACP, the NBC radio network broadcasts a desegregation progress report featuring pre-recorded messages from King, NAACP Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins, and Los Angeles civil rights attorney Loren Miller.
13 Feb King tape-records a prayer to be broadcast at the 7 February Brotherhood Sunday Service at First Presbyterian Church in Hoboken, New Jersey. King is in attendance as the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration open their second meeting at New Zion Baptist Church in New Orleans.
14 Feb On the second day of their conference, the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration shorten their name to Southern Leaders Conference and elect King president of the organization. After the conference King tells the press of the group’s plans to march to Washington, should Eisenhower fail to speak against segregation.
17 Feb At the Lansing Civic Center in Michigan, King speaks on behalf of Union Baptist Church, where his uncle, Joel King, serves as pastor.
18 Feb King appears on the cover of Time magazine.
19 Feb King speaks at the Quill Club in New York City.
20 Feb During chapel at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, King delivers “The Philosophy of Non-violence.”
24 Feb Dexter members throw a “bon voyage” party at the church for Martin and Coretta King before they leave Montgomery for their trip to Africa and Europe.
25 Feb King attends an MIA mass meeting at Maggie Street Baptist Church.
26 Feb After a half-day of finishing last-minute business at Dexter, King leaves Montgomery in the afternoon for Richmond, Virginia.
27 Feb King preaches “Remember Who You Are” as part of Virginia Union University’s annual Week of Prayer.
28 Feb King delivers “Going Forward By Going Backward” at Virginia Union.
1 Mar
King completes his appearances for Virginia Union’s Week of Prayer with “Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.”
2 Mar In the afternoon the Kings leave New York’s International Airport for the Gold Coast with Adam Clayton Powell, Ralph Bunche, and A. Philip Randolph. All are to participate in the independence celebrations of the new nation of Ghana.
3 Mar On route, King’s plane stops in Lisbon, Dakar, and Monrovia, before departing for the Gold Coast at 11 P.M. In Monrovia King is met at the airport by Romeo Houghton, president of the Bank of Liberia.
4 Mar King’s flight arrives in Accra, the Gold Coast in the early morning.
5 Mar At an impromptu press conference during a ceremony at the University of Ghana, King charges the Eisenhower administration with ignoring the southern racial situation. Later, King meets Richard Nixon; the vice president agrees to a future meeting in Washington. That evening King attends the final session of the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly.
6 Mar At midnight, King joins a crowd gathered in the Accra polo grounds to witness the Union Jack being replaced by the flag of Ghana. At 9:15A.M. King views the opening of the Parliament of Ghana. In the evening King attends a formal reception at the Christiansborg Castle.
7 Mar Anglican priest Michael Scott visits an ailing and bedridden King on the Achimota College campus where the Kings are staying while in Ghana.
10 Mar King hears Scott preach at a Sunday service in the Anglican Cathedral in Accra. 
12 Mar King leaves Accra and flies to Kano.
14 Mar King arrives in Rome in the early morning and sends a cablegram to his congregation letting them know all is well.
17 Mar King leaves Rome in the afternoon and flies to Geneva.
18 Mar In the evening King flies from Geneva to Paris.
21 Mar King leaves Paris for London.
22 Mar King tours London, visiting Buckingham Palace, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey.
24 Mar King lunches with writer C. L. R.James. They spend the afternoon talking about the bus boycott, nonviolence, and social change. King leaves London in the evening.
25 Mar King arrives in New York in the morning and later meets with Wilkins and Randolph to plan for the Prayer Pilgrimage.
27 Mar Before continuing home to Montgomery, King announces to reporters in Atlanta that he expects to meet with Nixon soon to discuss racial conditions in the South.
31 Mar King preaches at chapel at Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama; in the afternoon he speaks at a forum sponsored by two fraternities. At Holt Street Baptist Church King participates
in a meeting to kick off a fund raising drive for the repair of churches damaged by the January bombings.
1 Apr
King reports on his trip to Ghana at an MIA meeting at St. John’s AME Church.
2 Apr King speaks to the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission, which awards him their National Fellowship Award at a banquet at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel.
3 Apr King holds a discussion group with Boston University theology students. In the evening, King appears in a televised interview on WGBH before he delivers “Justice Without Violence” at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. 
5 Apr In Washington, D.C., seventy-five civil rights leaders meet at Metropolitan Baptist Church to plan the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. Wilkins, Randolph, and King speak to the press following the meeting.
7 Apr At Dexter King preaches “The Birth of a New Nation.”
8 Apr During a meeting at Dexter, King urges the MIA to organize for voting rights and registration.
10 Apr At the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, King offers “A Realistic Look at the Question of Progress in the Area of Race Relations.”
11 Apr A group of St. Louis religious and community leaders meet with King for breakfast at the home of minister T. E. Huntley. King flies to Kansas City where he is interviewed by local reporters at the Pickwick Hotel. At St. Stephen Baptist Church King delivers “Progress in the Area of Race Relations” at an NAACP fund raiser. Following the speech King meets with a group of local ministers at the church.
14 Apr King preaches “The Garden of Gethsemane” at Dexter.
15 Apr King offers opening remarks at a MIA meeting at Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church.
17 Apr The Kings share slides and stories from their travels in Africa and Europe at a program at Dexter sponsored by the Young Matrons Circle.
19 Apr King delivers “A Realistic Look at the Question of Progress in the Area of Race Relations” at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Memphis in an event sponsored by three black fraternities.
21 Apr King preaches “Questions That Easter Answers” at Dexter. 
23 Apr King flies to New York City to publicize the Prayer Pilgrimage and confer with co-chairmen Wilkins and Randolph.
24 Apr In the morning King holds a press conference at the Sheraton Astor Hotel. At a luncheon in the hotel ballroom, King receives the 1957 Social Justice Award from the Religion and Labor Foundation. After accepting the award King delivers “This Isa Great Time to Be Alive."
25 Apr As the closing speaker at the Conference on Christian Faith and Human Relations in Nashville, King speaks on “The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation’s Chief Moral Dilemma” at University Center. In the afternoon King speaks at the Fisk MemorialChapel to open the University Festival of Music and Art.
27 Apr The Kings celebrate Coretta King’s birthday at the residence of Dexter member Richmond Smiley.
28 Apr King preaches “The Rewards of Worship” at Dexter. In the evening he attends the piano recital of Altona Johns in the church sanctuary.
3 May
During three New York City appearances King rallies support for the Prayer Pilgrimage. At Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, King speaks at a luncheon of white and black clergy. During the Sabbath Eve service at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, King delivers “The Future of Integration.” King finishes the day speaking to a crowd in front of the Hotel Theresa. At Camp Belser in Alabama a group of fifty white ministers, gathered to discuss Christianity and race relations, listen to a tape-recorded message from King.
6 May Approximately two hundred and fifty black Montgomery residents attempt to register at the Board of Registrars office. King later delivers opening remarks at an MIA meeting on voter registration at Mt. Zion AME Zion Church.
9 May King speaks at a meeting of the Montgomery Council on Human Relations held at Trinity Lutheran Church.
13 May King addresses an MIA meeting at Lily Baptist Church.
16 May Following a sunrise service at First Baptist Church, two hundred Montgomery African Americans depart for Washington, D.C., to take part in the Prayer Pilgrimage. At 9 A.M. King leaves Montgomery, flying first to Atlanta and then on to Washington.
17 May The District Commissioner of Washington presents King, Wilkins, and Randolph with the key to the Capital. At the Prayer Pilgrimage, King delivers “Give Us the Ballot” at the Lincoln Memorial.
19 May King preaches at Philadelphia’s Zion Baptist Church.
20 May During a morning ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia, the National Conference on Social Welfare honors King for his contribution to human rights. At Enon Baptist Church in Baltimore, King addresses the United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland. 
21 May In New York City King receives the “Better Race Relations Award” from the Hotel and Club Employees Local 6 at its headquarters.
22 May At Bethesda Baptist Church in New Rochelle, New York, King delivers “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” to kick off a membership drive for the local branch of the NAACP.
23 May At Engle Street Junior High School in Englewood, New Jersey, King speaks to the local Urban League.
27 May At the end of the first day of the Montgomery church bombing trial, King urges a crowd at Hall Street Baptist Church to “keep faith” regardless of the court’s decision. King also participates in a ceremony celebrating the forty-eighth anniversary of Holt Street Baptist Church. 
28 May King testifies at the Montgomery church bombing trial.
29 May King speaks at Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee, Florida, at a conference celebrating the anniversary of the Inter-Civic Council. 
1 June
In the evening King meets with members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at the Kentucky home of Louisville Defender publisher Frank L. Stanley.
2 June King attends services at Zion Baptist Church in Louisville before leaving for Frankfort, where he delivers “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” at the graduation ceremony of Kentucky State College.
3 June King holds a press conference in Philadelphia before speaking to the Council on Christian Social Progress at a dinner banquet. He later delivers “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians” to the delegates of the Council’s parent body, the American Baptist Convention.
4 June King is awarded an honorary degree during commencement exercises at Morehouse College.
5 June In Atlanta King participates in a committee meeting to consider the ordination of his brother, A. D.; the group unanimously approves the ordination.
6 June King receives an honorary degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary.
7 June King receives an honorary degree from Howard University.
9 June King presides at the ordination service of four deacons at Dexter.
13 June
Following a two-hour meeting with Richard Nixon in Washington, King tells the press at the Raleigh Hotel that the vice president promised to hold a conference of the President’sCommittee on Government Contracts in the South.
15 June At the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, the Utility Club honors King as “Man of the Year.”
18 June King arrives in Dallas for the National Sunday School and Baptist Training Union (BTU) Congress.
21 June At the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, King delivers “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” for the National Sunday School and BTU Congress’s Booker T. Washington Night.
22 June King is met at the San Francisco International Airport by a ten-car police motorcade to escort him to the Shattuck Hotel in Berkeley.
23 June King meets with the San Francisco Bay Area Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for breakfast and discussion. In the afternoon King delivers “A Realistic Look at the Question of Progress in the Area of Race Relations” at the Oakland Auditorium Arena.
24 June At noon King delivers “Techniques of Persuasion in the Montgomery Bus Boycott” to students at the University of California at Berkeley. He follows his talk with a question and answer session over lunch sponsored by the University YMCA. In the evening King speaks at Evergreen Baptist Church in Oakland.
26 June King speaks at a “Fight for Freedom” celebration at the Russ Auditorium in San Diego.
28 June At Detroit’s Henry Ford Auditorium, King receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.
2 July
At Washington Chapel AME Church in Tuskegee, King addresses a rally to support the African-American community’s boycott of white merchants.
8 July In Montgomery King and Abernathy meet with MIA treasurer E. D. Nixon to resolve Nixon’s grievances with the organization.
14 July King preaches “Overcoming an Inferiority Complex” at Dexter, the first of a series of sermons on “Problems of Personality Integration."
18 July King delivers the opening prayer during the Reverend Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusade at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
21 July King preaches “The Mastery of Fear” at Dexter. At First Baptist Church in Montgomery, King preaches “Going Forward by Going Backward” during an afternoon Women’s Day program.
22 July King speaks at the 110th anniversary of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Chicago.
26 July King speaks to black and white youth attending the “Encampment for Citizenship” in New York City.
27 July At Community Church in New York City, King and Ambrose Reeves, the Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, South Africa, discuss their countries’ liberation movements.
28 July King speaks during two morning services at New York’s Cornerstone Baptist Church.
30 July King speaks at Atlantic City High School in New Jersey at a “Crusade for Freedom” rally. 
1 Aug
King attends the third anniversary celebration of Dexter’s June
Club at the home of church member Edgar E. Evans.
4 Aug King preaches “Factors that Determine Character” at Dexter. King tells the press he is considering whether to intervene in a case challenging segregation of the Montgomery zoo.
5 Aug King presents gifts to Rosa Parks at an MIA tribute in her honor at Mt. Zion AME Zion Church.
6 Aug
King speaks to the delegates of the Beauty Culturists League at their convention in New Orleans. King also receives the organization’s Civil Rights Award.
7 Aug King and other members of the executive board of the Southern Leaders Conference meet at Dexter to plan the following day’s convention agenda.
8 Aug The third meeting of the Southern Leaders Conference is held at Holt Street Baptist Church in Montgomery. The organization’s name is changed to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and King announces the launching of a “Crusade for Citizenship,” a massive voter registration drive in the South. A mass meeting at Holt Street ends the two-daysession.
11 Aug King preaches "Conquering Self-centeredness” at Dexter to close his sermon series on “Problems of Personality Integration.”
12 Aug King delivers “Propagandizing Christianity” at the American Baptist Assembly Missions Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin.
14 Aug King speaks to the NAACP Milwaukee Branch at Grand Avenue Congregational Church.
16 Aug King meets with United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther in his Detroit office.
18 Aug At Central Methodist Church in Detroit, King delivers “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians.”
19 Aug On the UAW “Shiftbreak” radio program, King voices his qualified approval of the Senate version of the civil rights bill.  
25 Aug At Old Ship AME Zion Church in Montgomery, King speaks as part of the church’s Men’s Day program.
2 Sept In Monteagle, Tennessee, King delivers “A Look to the Future” at Highlander Folk School’s twenty-fifth anniversary program.
4 Sept King addresses the Laymen’s Movement of the National Baptist Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. 
8 Sept King preaches at Zion Baptist Church in Louisville.
9 Sept In Montgomery, the Kings lunch with writer John Oliver Killens, director Jeffrey Hayden, and pastor Robert Graetz to discuss plans for a movie based on the Montgomery story.
10 Sept
King attends the MIA executive board meeting.
19 Sept King delivers “A Realistic Look at Progress in the Area of Race Relations” at Steward Chapel AME Church in Macon, Georgia.
22 Sept At Liberty Baptist Church in Atlanta, King preaches “Our God Is Able” for the Annual Men’s Day program.
2 Oct
King delivers “The Future of Integration” at the United Packinghouse Workers of America convention in Chicago.
10 Oct At Orchestra Hall in Chicago, King is among the speakers at a program entitled “The Negro Southerner Speaks,” sponsored by the United Negro College Fund.
13 Oct King presides at the morning service at Dexter.
16 Oct King meets with Randolph and Wilkins in New York. They agree that NAACP and SCLC fund raising and voter registration efforts should not compete for funds or duplicate services.
18 Oct King attends an SCLC executive board meeting at Ebenezer.
23 Oct King presides at the annual business meeting of Dexter. During his presentation of the annual report, King is informed that his wife has given birth to a son, Martin Luther King III.
27 Oct King preaches “The Things That Are God’s’’ at Dexter. Following services King is interviewed at the church for the NBC television program “Look Here.” An act of sabotage against the local television station’s broadcast tower prevents the program from being seen in southern Alabama.
30 Oct At First Baptist Church in Fairmont, North Carolina, King delivers the main address at the General Baptist State Convention.
4 Nov
King meets with SCLC executive board members at Mt. Olive CME Cathedral in Memphis.
5 Nov King addresses a rally at Mt. Olive following a one-day SCLC meeting. 
6 Nov King attends an MIA executive board meeting.
8 Nov At Sale Hall, Morehouse College, King speaks at a leadership training school sponsored by the Atlanta District Sunday School and BTU Congress.
9 Nov King delivers “A Look to the Future” at the annual convention of the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, D.C.
10 Nov At Howard University’s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel in Washington, D.C., King delivers “Love Your Enemies” during the convocation of the School of Religion.
12 Nov King speaks on behalf of the Jamaica, New York, branch of the NAACP at Lost Battalion Hall in Queens.
16 Nov In Atlanta, King addresses a southern regional conference of the NAACP on voter registration.
17 Nov King preaches “Loving Your Enemies” at Dexter.
21 Nov King speaks at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
26 Nov King strikes a deal with Montgomery officials: he agrees to pay a $500 fine related to his participation in the bus boycott, while the circuit solicitor agrees to drop all charges against the remaining eighty-nine defendants. The solicitor also dismisses charges against the men accused of the racially motivated church and home bombings of 10 January. 
1 Dec King preaches “Structure and Destiny” at Dexter. 
3 Dec At Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, King delivers “The Oneness of Man in American Intergroup Relations” during a conference of the National Council of Churches. King joins fellow conferees at a reception at the City Art Museum of St. Louis.
4 Dec In the morning King speaks during an assembly at Graham Chapel, Washington University in St. Louis. He later delivers “The Christian Way of Life in Human Relations” during the National Council of Churches conference.
5 Dec At Holt Street Baptist Church, King delivers “Some Things We Must Do” during the MIA’s Second Annual Institute on Non-Violence and Social Change.
6 Dec King participates in a seminar at Mt. Zion AME Zion Church as part of the MIA annual institute. He later introduces the evening’s main speaker.
7 Dec At First CME Church in Montgomery, King participates in a panel discussion of “Freedom and Dignity Through Civic Responsibility.” 
8 Dec King preaches at Dexter. He later attends a mass meeting, which concludes the MIA institute at Old Ship AME Zion Church.
11 Dec King is re-elected to the MIA board of directors.
12 Dec King offers the opening and closing prayers at a forum on “The Role of the Church in Solving Contemporary Problems” at Dexter.
13 Dec King speaks at Dexter’s Eightieth Anniversary Banquet.
15 Dec At Dexter’s Eightieth Anniversary worship service King introduces guest preacher Mordecai Johnson. 
18 Dec King attends an MIA budget committee meeting.
19 Dec King attends the SCLC administrative committee meeting at Ebenezer. 
22 Dec King preaches at Dexter.
27 Dec King is honored by the Philadelphia Cotillion Society at the Convention Hall in that city.
29 Dec King preaches “God Is Able” at Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia.


2 Jan
Following a testimonial dinner in his honor, King delivers “Facing the Challenge of the New Age” during the Emancipation Day celebration at First Baptist Church, Newport News, Virginia.
6 Jan
At a Dexter board meeting King discusses his need for a pastoral assistant and new office space.
8 Jan
In Rochester, New York, King speaks to the City Club and delivers “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians” at Colgate Rochester Divinity School.
9 Jan
At the New York City office of his agents, King meets with candidates who will provide editorial assistance in writing his book on the Montgomery protest. At the Town and Country Club of Brooklyn, New York, King addresses the Guardians Association of the New York City Police Department. On behalf of the Guardians, Governor Averell Harriman presents King with an Annual Achievement Award.
10 Jan
At the NAACP national office in New York City, King presents Wilkins with a check for $1,000 for two life memberships, one for himself and one for the MIA.
12 Jan
Father and son switch pulpits; King preaches “Structure and Destiny” at Ebenezer while his father preaches at Dexter. At Orchestra Hall in Chicago, King delivers “What Is Man?” for the Sunday Evening Club.
13 Jan
King dines at the home of Rabbi David Polish prior to speaking on the “Desirability of Being Maladjusted” at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois.
14 Jan
At the Veterans Memorial Building in Columbus, Ohio, King speaks at a fund raiser for the local branch of the NAACP.
15 Jan King attends a morning meeting of the President’s Committee on Government Contracts at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. King later speaks on “The Montgomery, Alabama Story” at the Walnut Hills High School Auditorium on behalf of the Jewish Community Center Forum in Cincinnati.
18 Jan King meets with the members of a Dexter committee who agree to his request to hire an assistant pastor.
19 Jan During Sunday services at Dexter, the congregation unanimously approves King’s requests to hire an assistant pastor and to build new office space.
20 Jan
King is re-elected MIA president at the organization’s executive board meeting. King attends a meeting of the Dexter coordinating council.
30 Jan
At Ebenezer the SCLC executive committee meets for an all-day planning session. At a press conference following the meeting, King discusses plans for the 12 February launching of the Crusade for Citizenship. The Hindustan Times publishes King’s tribute to Gandhi, “His Influence Speaks to World Conscience.”
31 Jan
King presides over an executive committee meeting of the MIA.
10 Feb
At Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, King delivers “Non-Violence and Racial Justice” on behalf of the United Church of Raleigh.
11 Feb King delivers “A Realistic Look at Race Relations” at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, for the local branch of the NAACP.
12 Feb King addresses a mass meeting at Miami’s Greater Bethel AME Church to launch SCLC’s Crusade for Citizenship. Twenty simultaneous mass meetings are held that day in cities throughout the South.
13 Feb The Secret Place publishes King’s “No Vengeance.”
16 Feb King preaches “Not By Bread Alone” at Dexter.
20 Feb At Mills College in Oakland, California, King delivers “A Realistic Look at Race Relations.”
22 Feb In Asilomar, California, King speaks on “Freedom Through Non-Violence” at the American Friends Service Committee’s Conference on Civil Liberties for High School Students.
23 Feb King speaks at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco. At Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles, King addresses an NAACP rally against job discrimination.
25 Feb King begins a three-day speaking engagement at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He delivers “A Great Time to Be Alive” at a graduate and faculty luncheon. In the evening King speaks on “Facing the Challenge of a New Age.”
26 Feb During a dinner for Caltech faculty and alumni King delivers “Progress in Race Relations.”
27 Feb King concludes his visit to Caltech.
2 Mar King preaches at Dexter. In the evening Martin Luther King III is blessed during a service at the church.
9 Mar At Oak Wood Cemetery in Montgomery, King officiates at the funeral of Mary Harris, sister of Dexter deacon T. H. Randall.
10-12 Mar King preaches at the Detroit Council of Churches’ Noon Lenten Services at Central Methodist Church.
11 Mar After speaking at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Highland Park, Michigan, King attends a reception at the Statler Hotel in Detroit.
12 Mar Following his final sermon for the Detroit Council of Churches, King speaks at Second Baptist Church in Detroit as part of the cultural committee’s “Forum Series.”
14 Mar In Detroit King meets with Congressman Charles C. Diggs, Jr. to discuss the SCLC voter registration drive. Diggs takes King on a tour of his businesses. King preaches at Trinity Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan.
16 Mar King preaches at Dexter. 
16-22 Mar
In observance of Negro Newspaper Week, radio stations across the country broadcast King’s pre-recorded remarks on the importance of the black press.
23 Mar King preaches “I Thirst” at Dexter.
26 Mar King preaches at St. James Presbyterian Church in New York City.
6 Apr King preaches on “The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth” in the morning at Dexter. On the steps of the state capitol in Montgomery, King addresses the Prayer Pilgrimage protesting the electrocution of Jeremiah Reeves.
9 Apr King delivers “What Is Man?” and “The Peril of Conformity” at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the evening King addresses a “Summit Conference on Registration and Voting” at St. Mark AME Zion Church in Durham.
13 Apr King preaches “Is It Un-Christian to Judge Others?” at Dexter.
14 Apr King delivers “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” before a meeting of the John A. Andrew Clinical Society at the Tuskegee Institute.
15 Apr In Evanston, Illinois, King speaks on “The Crisis in Human Relations” for Northwestern University’s Mars Lecture series.
16 Apr King delivers his second Mars Lecture, “The Christian Answer.”
20 Apr King delivers “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” at the Community Church of Boston. He later accepts an award from the Massachusetts Council for Civil Rights at Boston’s Freedom House.
23 Apr At Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, King delivers “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life” at a chapel service before speaking with a group of area ministers on “Non-violence and Racial Justice.” In the evening King dines with faculty members of Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He later participates in a question and answer period with students.
24 Apr At a morning assembly at Lycoming, King speaks on “Facing the Challenge of a New Age.”
27 Apr The congregations of Dexter and First Baptist Church worship jointly in a “Re-Dedicatorial Worship Service.” King offers a morning prayer at the service.
28 Apr King presides at the Dexter Spring Lecture series, which features Clarence Jordan of Koinonia Farm, Americus, Georgia.
29 Apr At the SCLC office in Atlanta, King and members of the personnel committee interview John L. Tilley for the position of executive director.
20 Apr King attends a meeting of the SCLC executive board at Ebenezer.
4 May King preaches “The Unpardonable Sin” at Dexter.
11 May King preaches “The Problem of Unanswered Prayer” at Dexter.
14 May King addresses the biennial convention of the American Jewish Congress at the Carillon Hotel in Miami Beach.
15 May King attends a luncheon in his honor at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Detroit and later preaches at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral as part of the “Christ, The Church, and Race” conference, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.
16 May At Detroit’s Veterans’ Memorial Building, King delivers the keynote address for the “Christ, The Church, and Race” conference. He later speaks at Ecorse High School near Detroit.
17 May King, in Houston to deliver a graduation speech, attends a reception at the Erma Hughes Business College auditorium.
18 May King speaks at the twenty-fifth commencement of Hughes College at St. John Baptist Church in Houston.
25 May King preaches “Did Jesus Believe in Chance?” at Dexter.
26 May King delivers the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach.
27 May King addresses the graduates during commencement at Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal (AM&N) College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. King later attends the graduation ceremony of Ernest Green, Little Rock Central High School’s first black graduate.
28 May King attends the SCLC executive board meeting in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
29 May King participates in SCLC’s first full meeting of the year at Haven Methodist Church in Clarksdale; he later addresses the conference delegates at a mass meeting at First Baptist Church.
June CORE publishes “A First Step Toward School Integration” with a foreword by King.
1 June King preaches “Did Jesus Disapprove of Wealth?” at Dexter.
2 June King receives an honorary degree and is commencement speaker at Morgan State College in Baltimore.
3 June King delivers “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians” at the founding convention of the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. in Pittsburgh.
8 June King receives an honorary degree and addresses the graduating class at Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio.
9 June In Washington King meets with Eisenhower administration officials to plan a meeting between the president and black leaders.
15 June King preaches “Will Christ Visibly Return to Earth?” at Dexter.
16-17 June King attends the American Baptist Convention in Cincinnati.
18 June King addresses the National Sunday School and BTU Congress in Omaha.
19 June King is elected vice president of the National Sunday School and BTU Congress.
22 June King preaches on “The Nature of Heaven” at Dexter. King, Wilkins, Randolph, and Lester Granger meet in Washington to prepare for their meeting with President Eisenhower.
23 June President Eisenhower discusses race discrimination with King and other black civil rights leaders at the White House. Following the meeting, the group answers questions from the press. .
24 June In Chicago King delivers “The Role of the Church in the Present Racial Crisis” at First Presbyterian Church’s 125th anniversary banquet.
26 June King speaks at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, New Jersey.
27 June King delivers “Nonviolence and Racial Justice” at the Friends General Conference in Cape May, New Jersey. 
29 June King preaches on “The Nature of Hell” at Dexter.
1 July King speaks on behalf of the Prince Hall Masons in Columbus, Georgia.
2-3 July King attends the SCLC administrative committee meeting at Ebenezer.
6 July King preaches “The Mystery of Life” at Dexter.
9-11 July King attends the annual NAACP convention in Cleveland.
12 July At Dexter, King officiates at the funeral of former church member William J. Cole.
13 July King attends the Men’s Day program at Dexter featuring Arthur D. Gray, president of Talladega College.
17-29 July The Kings vacation in Mexico City and Acapulco.
31 July
King delivers “A Knock at Midnight” at the Alabama State Sunday School and BTU Congress at Selma University.
3 Aug King preaches “Catching the Wrong Train” at Dexter. In the evening King baptizes several new members into the church.
4 Aug King introduces the main speaker, Gandhian disciple Kaka Kalelkar, at an MIA mass meeting at Mt. Zion AME Zion Church.
10 Aug King preaches “In Life’s Storms” at Dexter.
14 Aug At Galilee Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, King speaks on behalf of a voter registration drive sponsored by the United Christian Movement. 
17 Aug King preaches “The Greatest Power in the World” at Dexter.
21-22 Aug At Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, King delivers “The Dimensions of a Complete Life” and “What Is Man?” for the National Conference on Christian Education sponsored bythe United Church of Christ.
23 Aug King is among forty-eight signers of a petition to the Montgomery Park and Recreation Board requesting unrestricted use of the all-white public parks.
24 Aug King preaches “Going Forward by Going Backward” at Central Methodist Church in Detroit.
31 Aug King preaches “A Knock at Midnight” at Central Baptist Church in Pittsburgh.
1 Sept
King attends an MIA mass meeting and Stride Toward Freedom autographing party at First Baptist Church.
3 Sept While attempting to attend the arraignment of a man accused of assaulting Abernathy, King is arrested outside Montgomery’s Recorder’s Court and charged with loitering. He is released a short time later on $100 bond.
5 Sept King is convicted of disobeying a police order and fined $14. King chooses to spend fourteen days in jail, but is soon released when Police Commissioner Clyde Sellers pays his fine. King attends a mass meeting at Bethel Baptist Church.
7 Sept King preaches “Getting Along With Other People” at Dexter.
9 Sept King departs for Chicago to participate in the annual meeting of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A.
12 Sept At Detroit’s King Solomon Baptist Church, King addresses the delegates of the National Baptist Convention of America.
13 Sept King signs copies of Stride Toward Freedom at Lake Meadows Shopping Center in Chicago.
14 Sept King delivers “A Knock at Midnight” on behalf of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention in Chicago.
17 Sept King appears on Dave Garroway’s NBC morning television program. At Harlem’s Empire Baptist Bookstore, King autographs copies of Stride Toward Freedom on the day of the book’s official release. At St. Augustine Presbyterian Church, King speaks on behalf of the Bronx Division of the Protestant Council of Churches of New York.
18 Sept On CBS radio’s “The World Tonight,” King suggests federalizing southern schools closed to prevent integration. King addresses an SCLC fund raiser at Williams Institutional CME in Harlem.
19 Sept King is interviewed on a WEVD-New York radio program, “The Pyschology Behind Anti-Integration.” Later, King is heckled by black nationalists as he speaks at a meeting outside Harlem’s Hotel Theresa to rally support for the Youth March for Integrated Schools.
20 Sept During a book signing at Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem, King is stabbed by Izola Ware Curry. He is rushed to Harlem Hospital where a team of doctors successfully removes a seven-inch letter opener from his chest.
22 Sept
Doctors at Harlem Hospital reveal that King has developed pneumonia in his lower right lung.
30 Sept
King holds a press conference at Harlem Hospital. 
1 Oct Ralph Abernathy delivers a message from King to an SCLC meeting in Norfolk, Virginia.
3 Oct King is released from Harlem Hospital; he begins a three-week convalescence at the Brooklyn parsonage of Sandy Ray.
6 Oct From Brooklyn King sends words of encouragement to the MIA mass meeting.
17 Oct Just minutes after hearing King’s testimony, a grand jury indicts Curry for attempted murder.
24 Oct Upon returning home King is greeted at the airport by a crowd of supporters. 
25 Oct Coretta Scott King delivers remarks prepared by her husband at the Youth March for Integrated Schools in Washington.
26 Oct King speaks at Dexter for the first time since his stabbing. His brother A. D. serves as guest preacher.
27 Oct MIA members pay tribute to King at a homecoming celebration at First Baptist Church.
18 Nov At Dexter’s annual dinner conference, King delivers the church’s annual report.
28 Nov
King attends an MIA meeting to discuss the need for improved medical facilities to serve Montgomery’s black community.
4 Dec King delivers the annual address at the MIA’s Third Annual Institute on Non-Violence and Social Change at Mt. Zion AME Zion Church.
5 Dec At St. John AME Church King participates in an evening seminar, “Non-Violent Resistance,” during the MIA annual institute. 
7 Dec King delivers the church anniversary sermon at Dexter and later addresses the concluding assembly of the MIA’s annual institute at First Baptist Church.
9 Dec King attends the SCLC administrative committee meeting at Ebenezer.
10 Dec Following an SCLC executive board meeting at Ebenezer, King speaks at a mass meeting at Wheat Street Baptist Church in Atlanta.
12 Dec King speaks at Cadle Tabernacle, on behalf of the Senate Avenue YMCA in Indianapolis.
14 Dec King preaches “Worship At Its Best” at Dexter.
21 Dec King preaches “Christ, Our Starting Point” at Dexter.
28 Dec King preaches at Dexter.
Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Copyright Information  |  The King Center  |  RSS