MLK honoured 45 years ago today
On this day in 1967 Newcastle University awarded Martin Luther King an honorary degree, the only British University to do so.
On this day in 1967 Newcastle University awarded Martin Luther King an honorary degree, being the only British University to do so.
The world renowned civil rights hero picked up his Doctorate in Civil Law from Newcastle University and made the trip to receive it in person on 13th November 1967.
This was one of the last events in his celebrated life as only months later he was assassinated in Tennessee, a cruel consequence of his groundbreaking plight.
On accepting the degree he was unusually invited to make a speech and of course held the audience captive to his rhetoric. After graciously receiving the degree he reflected on the issues he fought for and said:
“There are three urgent and indeed great problems that we face… all over the world today. That is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war and the things that I have been trying to do… have been to deal forthrightly and in depth with these great and grave problems that pervade our world’.
The black and white footage has been released for all to view having been kept in the Uni archives until recently. Eric Cross, Dean of Cultural Affairs at Newcastle University commented:
“The footage is something that we’ve had for many years in our archive but it wasn’t straight away that its significance was realised. It was a very big deal for the University that he came all the way to the UK just to come to Newcastle.”
Watch the original footage of the ceremony here and celebrate undoubtedly one of the most historic moments in Newcastle Uni’s history: