Just Behind Dr. King’s right shoulder is Jersey City Police Officer Charles Jackson, who served as security coordinator for the event.
Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at least twice in Jersey City. On September 21, 1965, he received an honorary Doctor of Law from St. Peter’s College. Dr. King gave an address titled “The American Dream.” The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University does not have a copy of the text (or a recording) of the address.
On Wednesday, March 27, 1968, barely a week before his death, nearly 2,000 heard Martin Luther King at Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church. Dr. King encouraged support for his upcoming “Poor People’s Campaign.”
I know of one recording was made of Martin Luther King speaking in Jersey City. At a grammar school assembly many years ago, I heard an audio tape brought in by a parent of one of the students of Dr. King addressing a Jersey City audience. I’m not sure if this was the St. Peter’s College event,the talk at A.M.E. church, or if it was of an appearance of Martin Luther King in Jersey City that is not currently documented.
- CITATION FOR HONORARY DEGREE
- Rights Action Need In North, Says King
Hudson Dispatch: September 23, 1965
- More Demonstrations Ahead, Dr. King Says
Jersey Journal: September 23, 1965
- Martin Luther King Accepts Honorary Degree From College
Pauw Wow (Saint Peter’s College Student Newspaper), October 1, 1965
- King Visit Stirs Spirit of Unity
Jersey Journal: March 28, 1968
I lived at 154 Belmont Ave. at that time. I was 14 and asked my mother if I could go down to the corner church and listen to King, who was already very well known. She agreed. I was at the side door and hear most of his speech. It was a tense time, but then again Jersey City was not a very relaxing place ever. I was one of very few white people and you know what I did not have any fear what so ever. Glad I went.