Newly Discovered MLK Recording Donated To National Civil Rights Museum

(Memphis) On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, hundreds took the time to visit the Civil Rights Museum downtown.

It was a day full of activities, including the broadcast of an interview with Dr. King that had never heard before.

Organizers only played the eight-minute interview twice Monday. People who heard it say they feel blessed.

“Non-violence means the refusal to use violence in any way in order to achieve a social end,” Dr. King says in the recording.

The recording, played over loud speakers, had never been heard in public before.

A few years ago, a former reporter discovered it in his attic in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The interview dates back to 1960.

Magician David Copperfield bought the recording, estimated to be worth more than $100,000, and donated it to the Civil Rights Museum, where it was played for all to hear for the first time.

Dr. King talks about the sit-in movement where blacks in seven states refused to get up from all-white lunch counters.

“I am convinced when the history books are written in future years, historians will have to record this movement as one of the greatest epics of our heritage,” said Dr. King. “I think the struggle represents a struggle on the highest level of dignity and discipline.”

“It made me really wish he was still here and wonder what kind of changes could take effect if he still was here,” said Memphis resident James Montgomery.

King talked about showing love to your opponent, instead of hate.

“I loved that message because it gives me something to tell my children and my grandchildren,” said Iretha Watkins, a Midtown resident.

“It may well be that the Negro will serve as a savior of our nation. That is, to save the soul of our nation in this period when so many forces are at work seeking to scar the American dream,” Dr. King says in the recording.

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