Currently, civil rights are a Massachusetts hot button, with gay marriage and Jimmy Kelly penatrating the headlines and blog fodder.
Today being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day of reflection on civil rights, I present two brief snapshots from Boston's voluminous civil rights history:
First, many people don't know that Dr. King first met Coretta Scott, a New England Conservatory student, during his time pursing a doctorate at BU. While here, he rented a room at 397 Mass Ave, where a small plaque still stands to commemorate his time in the Hub.
Dr. King was assassinated April 4, 1968; eight years and one day later, Boston was drenched in busing-induced racial turmoil, and from a rally at city hall was born an iconic, Pulitzer Prize winning photo: Joseph Rakes, a white student spearing black attorney Ted Landsmark with an American flag.
State Senator William Owens (D-Boston) stated on the WGBH 10 O'Clock News, April 6, 1976:
"People of color are not safe to come here to Boston and we are asking people across the country, of color, to stay away'.
WGBH has archival news casts from that day:
Click here to watch the original report on the vicious Landsmark assault and Senator Owens statements.
Also: Ted Landsmark's press conference.
[Note: The WGBH archive contains a treasure trove of old news clips from 1976-1991. I know there are a few people here that will, like myself, get lost for hours there.]