Libraries to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. speech commemoration

January 08, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The University Libraries will present an audio broadcast of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic 1965 address at Rec Hall at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The event, which is organized by the University Libraries Diversity Committee, is open to all, and students and the public are encouraged to attend. A related slide show will be presented along with the audio.

King’s speech, which drew an estimated crowd of 9,000 people to the newly expanded Recreation Hall building on Jan. 21, 1965, was a significant moment in Penn State’s history. “Dr. King spoke of the future of integration and while he acknowledged that we have come a long way in the struggle for racial justice, he also often spoke of how we have a long way to go before the problems are solved,” said librarian Rachel Smith, head of programming for the Diversity Committee. “Today, this message is still relevant. We encourage you to attend the events we have planned for this day and take in not only the power of Dr. King’s speech but also the significance of his visit to Penn State 50 years ago.”

A related exhibit on the second floor of Paterno Library will feature photographs from King’s memorable visit to Penn State and selected highlights from his speech. This exhibit will also include a display of books by and about King.

At 1 p.m., in Franklin Atrium, 106 Pattee Library, visitors can enjoy musical selections from Penn State’s Essence of Joy. Essence of Joy is one of 10 choral ensembles in the Penn State School of Music, and performs sacred and secular music from the African and African-American traditions under the direction of music professor Anthony Leach.

In addition, the poster exhibit "University Libraries Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month" will be on display in the lobby of central Pattee Library through Feb. 28. This annual exhibit features posters designed by Penn State graphic design majors in the Time and Sequence course.

View a complete list of events held on campus to celebrate the 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at Penn State. For more information on the events being held in the libraries or if you have questions about accommodations or the physical access provided, contact Rachel Smith 814-867-4827 or ras75@psu.edu in advance of your visit.

  • Martin Luther King in Rec Hall

    Martin Luther King drew an estimated crowd of 9,000 to the newly expanded Recreation Hall building on Jan. 21, 1965.

    IMAGE: Penn State University Archives
Last Updated January 11, 2015