Dr. King’s 1961 Mankato speeches added to archives

ARCH contains audio and transcripts of both speeches presented

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Archives Digital Collections (ARCH) recently added a new audio and transcript collection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech which he delivered at Mankato High School during a visit on Nov. 12, 1961.

The speech was part of the Third Annual Lectureship for the Wesley Foundation, a Mankato State College religious student organization.

Dr. King delivered two speeches during his visit to Mankato: “The Good Neighbor” at Centenary Methodist Church and a speech at Mankato High School. The audio recording was provided by Minnesota State University, Mankato radio station, KMSU, and it was titled “Facing the Challenge of a New Age.”

The ARCH department was able to upload the audio speech and transcript, which they had to review so that people would know what Dr. King was saying in the audio since it is difficult to hear. They want people to know what message Dr. King was trying to send to the public and what people were thinking at that time. The ARCH department also uploaded some news articles online that were published in the College Reporter during Dr. King’s visit on their page.

It can be said that people still follow Dr. King’s ideas and also fulfill the reason for why Martin Luther King Day of Service was created.

“The fact that the Pathfinder awards were presented on the Martin Luther King Day of Service in Mankato and that the city of Mankato chose to honor folks who support diversity shows a good example that people still follow his ideas and honor his work,” said Daardi Sizemore, the Archives and Special Collections librarian. “I think that Dr. King’s speech is relevant to what is going on today and also if more people can read and embrace it, it will be a wonderful thing.”

This is to say that people in the United States and maybe around the world still honor the Martin Luther King Day of Service and still follow his works of civil rights. His other speeches can still be listened to and it shows that Dr. King was consistent in talking about honoring people of different backgrounds and embracing diversity.

The University Archives also provides other digital audio information, yearbooks, photos and other historical documents dating back to 1868 online so as to keep promoting the collection.

“We are happy that people are able to listen and read the speech and I hope that it will lead them to some of our great historical things that we have digitized,” said Sizemore.

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