26. Death of Martin Luther King Jr.


When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April 1968, Princeton University and the local community commemorated the fallen civil rights activist in several ways.  Coincidentally, James Farmer, the former director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), was on campus to speak at a conference of Jewish students from several colleges about lessening interracial tension in American cities and campuses.  Farmer instead spoke to a larger assemblage of white and black students and community members about the importance of Dr. King’s work.  On the day of Dr. King’s funeral service, the Association of Black Collegians (known as ABC) conducted special discussion groups on race relations, equality and justice for the entire academic community.  ABC also held an hour-long silent vigil in honor of Dr. King in Palmer Square, attended by 200 community members and students, including Marion Sleet ’69, shown in this picture.

  • To learn more about diversity at Princeton, see quotation #6, 10, 13, 14, 20, 23, 29, and 31, and Café Vivian picture #29, 53, 59, 60, 66, and 72.