In 1966, Dr. King spoke at McFarlin Auditorium, where a plaque was unveiled Tuesday.
R. Gerald Turner, SMU president, said his speech was a balance between hope and reality. The SMU student senate invited Dr. King in 1966.
As the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act was just being passed, he spoke to a crowd of about 2,000. Tuesday’s event was to unveil a Texas state historical marker recognizing King’s speech. The actual marker is at the foot of the steps before you enter McFarlin Auditorium. SMU to unveil historical marker where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered speech.
Nearly six decades later, another group of SMU students, assisted by faculty and staff, came together to ensure that Dr. King’s speech was given the prominence in history that it deserves. They successfully petitioned the Texas Historical Commission for the plaque that we will dedicate on February 21, trusting that the memory of Dr. King’s words spoken 57 years ago will spur future generations to meet challenges our nation continues to face.
Pastor Richie Butler, St, Luke UMC Church and SMU trustee infoirmed the audience of the contribution of Rev, Clarence Glover perserverance to showcase the speech.
Two students who led the effort to bring a historical marker spoke at the event.”Without the passion of the students 50 years ago, we would not be here today,” said student Carson Dudick.
“I always love to highlight that this invitation for Dr. King to speak at McFarlin was by students, mostly because these were students who recognized their voice in a world where we were told to be silent,” said student Sparrow Caldwell.