Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
King Institute Projects
The King Papers Project
The King Papers Project produces a comprehensive multi-volume collection of King’s most important correspondence, sermons, publications, speeches, unpublished manuscripts, and other material and makes its significant research efforts available online and in popular books and audios.
Liberation Curriculum
The Liberation Curriculum (LC) initiative provides document-based lesson plans and resources and professional development workshops to inform teachers about global efforts to achieve social justice, human rights and liberation through nonviolent means, with special emphasis on the modern African American freedom struggle. (Photo by Matt Herron)
King Institute News
Clayborne Carson on the passing of Dr. Vincent Harding
May 20, 2014
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Vincent Harding (July 25, 1931 – May 19, 2014) image
Mabel Williams, civil rights activist, dead at 82.
April 28, 2014
Mabel Williams, who worked by her husband's side to advocate for armed self-defense against racial violence, died 19 April 2014.
Paul Robeson, Jr., Civil Rights Activist and Author, Dead at 86.
April 28, 2014
Paul Robeson, Jr., a civil rights activist and author who worked tirelessly to preserve his father's legacy, died 26 April 2014.
King Institute Open House 2014
January 10, 2014
The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute celebrates the King Holiday with an Open House on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, from 4-6 pm. Come help us celebrate our accomplishments and learn about our plans for the future. Visit with our staff and view our exhibit of King-related photos and documents. Gabi Holzwarth contemporary/hip-hop violinist will also perform at the event. All are welcome. Please note: Via Ortega is closed to through traffic due to construction; please use Panama Street. Visitor parking may be available in parking structure 2 at Panama Street/Via Ortega or nearby surface lots. Parking is free after 4 p.m.
Freedom’s Ring: “I Have a Dream” Speech
August 26, 2013
Listen to Dr. King’s most famous speech and explore interviews, historical context and lesson plans in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
Rev. Will D. Campbell, author and civil rights activist, dead at 88.
June 04, 2013
Will D. Campbell, a civil rights activist and minister who wrote extensively on his experiences, died 3 June 2013.
This Month in the Movement
This Month in the Movement: The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The landmark civil rights legislation signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on 2 July 1964 was the culmination of years of struggle and advocacy between movement organizations, students, and the Kennedy Administration.

Though it was the Kennedy Administration's sympathetic ear that provided momentum for federal action in 1963, congress had precedent to pull from with the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first legislation addressing the rights of African Americans since Reconstruction. The Act of 1957 established the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for investigative purposes. However, the Act fell short of being comprehensive and ignited a prolonged campaign for further legislation by various civil rights organizations and individuals such as A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King, Jr.

By 1963 racial strife mounted in plain view of both the national and international consciousness. President John F. Kennedy revealed his intention to pursue legislative action in his civil rights speech of 11 June 1963, following the notable Birmingham campaign in which students and children endured attacks by police dogs and high pressure fire hoses. Calling for comprehensive legislation the president argued that "this nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free." The Administration was under relentless pressure from civil rights organizations and King, who in an article published after the March on Washington reiterated that African Americans would not be content with tokenism.

King's advocacy was unwavering following Kennedy's assassination in November of 1963, he pressed President Johnson to continue Kennedy's civil rights legacy arguing the human dignity of African Americans would not be denied.

Though ensnared by a filibuster from southern senators, the bill finally passed and was signed into law on 2 July 1964 with King and other civil rights leaders present for its historical enactment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; and ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in public accommodations. For more on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 please visit our encyclopedia entry here.
King Resources
King Online Encyclopedia
Search here for information on over 1000 civil rights movement figures, events and organizations; a chronology of the movement, and full-text documents published online.
Online King Records Access (OKRA)
The Online King Records Access (OKRA) database provides easily searchable access to information on thousands of speeches, sermons, letters, and other historic documents by and about Martin Luther King, Jr.!
Featured Documents
Updated weekly on Tuesdays, the Featured Document of the Week series highlights particular King documents that we've annotated. Check here and on Facebook weekly for updates!
About Martin Luther King, Jr.
Read a biographical essay on Martin Luther King, Jr., prepared by King Institute director Clayborne Carson and the Institute staff, extensively cross-referenced with links to the King Online Encyclopedia.
Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, 28 August 1963
King delivers his iconic speech "I Have a Dream" and urges America to "make real the promises of democracy."(Photo credit UPI/Corbis-Bettman)
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