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The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meets with MHC community members and townspeople in Eliot House after his campus talk on October 20, 1963.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks in Gettell Amphitheatre on October 20, 1963.
Photo courtesy of MHC Archives/
Vincent S. D’Addario

Each January, the country celebrates the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A half-century ago this year, Dr. King spoke in person to the Mount Holyoke community, delivering a sermon on October 20 in the amphitheater.

The Mount Holyoke News reported on the homily, which took as its topic “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.” These are, according to King, length (“the push forward to achieve personal ends”), breadth (“outward concern for the welfare of others”), and height (“the upward reaching for God”).

His powerful words still inspire today, as these quotes from the Mount Holyoke News attest.

  • “All life is interrelated; we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.”
  • “God gave us ‘broad understanding, penetrating vision, the power of endurance, and lasting faith’ in order that we may achieve ‘the brotherhood that transcends race and color.”
  • In the fight for equality, “’We shall overcome,’ he trusts, for ‘although the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends toward justice.’”

Read the Mount Holyoke News article.

Article about Martin Luther King's sermon, part 1

Mount Holyoke News article, part 1

Mount Holyoke News article, part 2

Mount Holyoke News article, part 2

 

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  meets with MHC community members and townspeople in Eliot House after his campus talk on October 20, 1963.

Dr. King meets with MHC community and townspeople
in Eliot House after his campus talk.
Photo courtesy of MHC Archives/Vincent S. D’Addario

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4 Responses to Dr. King’s Words at MHC Inspire 50 Years Later

  1. Sallie Wright Abbas says:

    On this day celebrating his life, I recall hearing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at my college, Mount Holyoke College, over a half-century ago. I was so impressed by his ability to speak to any audience --those who had little education or at an institute of higher learning, to college students and PHDs.

  2. Krysia Villon says:

    How did I work there for so long and never know this?! I hope the class of '64 has a Laurel Parade sign that references that! :)

  3. Laura Kamrath says:

    Why does the inset square of "Part 1" of the article says "please ignore the squashed bananas"?

    • Emily Weir says:

      Laura: I wish I could tell you the reason, but I can't. It seems to have been an inside joke by the editors of the "News." In any case, neither that editorial note nor the Tarzan reference elsewhere on the page has anything to do with the MLK talk.

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