Dr. King Historical Marker Unveiled In South Philly

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An historical marker dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled in South Philadelphia today.

The marker commemorates the appearance in 1965 of the civil-rights leader at the former Hawthorne housing project.

Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Philadelphia Housing Authority executive Michael Kelly and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. Photo: McGlasson Media

About 2,300 people attended the Hawthorne rally to listen to Dr. King speak on his visit to South Philadelphia in 1965, according to Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) records.

Over 100 people attended this morning as PHA formally dedicated its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. marker at MLK Plaza, 13th & Fitzwater St.

A host of dignitaries attended the unveiling and spoke at the dedication. Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Chaka Fattah, State Senator’s. Larry Farnese and Anthony Williams, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson – who grew up in Hawthorne – were some of the speakers at the unveiling.

The Hawthorne site was one of five locations where Dr. King held street-corner rallies on Aug. 3, 1965 and was later renamed MLK Plaza in his honor.

His two-day visit to Philadelphia (Aug. 2-3, 1965) was part of a tour of northern cities to support civil-rights movements in those cities and aid them in fundraising.

Today’s unveiling coincided with the 44th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination in Memphis (Apr. 4, 1968).



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