Four years before the historic civil rights March to Washington, D.C., the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. visited Battle Creek, and three years later, he visited Albion.

There's a great recounting of those visits in the Battle Creek Enquirer, written by Natasha Blakely and Noe Hernandez.

Battle Creek historian Kurt Thornton provided some of the photos and information in the Enquirer Article, and shown here.

MLK march 20 1960 people in line james gibby-unknown woman-rev bigby-rev evans dr king rev short_Photo provided by Kurt Thornton

Thornton says he came across the color photo by chance in 2003.

My favorite is the picture of Dr. King at a folding card table in the living room of the First United Methodist Church's parsonage on Orchard.  It was taken prior to Dr. King's sermon at the church.  Reverend Evan's children (David and Linda), along with Reverend Bigby are seen in this candid photo that was given to me in 2003, at a remembrance service recognizing Dr. King.

MLK- march 20 1960 dr david evans-dr martin l king jr-john_Curt Thornton provided

Local events

State of the African American Community

12pm. Monday January 15.

Second Missionary Baptist Church

485 North Washingon Ave.

MLK Community Celebration

Monday, January 15, 5 to 6 p.m.

Bronson Battle Creek Outpatient Center Atrium

300 North Ave.

 

MLK-march 20 1960 john t debarksdale-rev paul bigby-dr mar-Curt Thornton provided photo