A look back at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his time in Chicago

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Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks at a civil rights rally at Soldier Field in 1966. | Sun-Times file photo

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent a significant amount of time in Chicago fighting City Hall, school segregation, open-housing issues and backlash from whites throughout the city.

One of King’s biggest impacts was the Chicago Freedom Movement, which fought against deplorable conditions that blacks were forced to live in because of housing segregation. And that fight helped bring about the Fair Housing Act, which was enacted on April 11, 1968 — less than a week after King’s assassination.

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His legacy lives on with the Martin Luther King Fair Housing Exhibit Center, which highlights that fight.

As people across the nation honor him on Monday, here’s a look back his Chicago visits:

King’s 1966 Housing March in Gage Park:

His “Street Sweeper” speech, which he gave April 9, 1967 at New Covenant Baptist Church:

Photos from our archives:


Mahalia Jackson, Mayor Richard J. Daley, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy in 1963. | Sun-Times file photo

Rev. Jesse Jackson, kneeling, huddles with King (center) and Bernard Lee at a meeting held at Stone Temple Church in 1966. | Sun-Times file photo


King addresses the crowd at Soldier Field during a civil rights rally in 1964. | Sun-Times file photo


King arrives at Soldier Field for a civil rights rally in 1964. | Sun-Times file photo

King shares lunch at Spliven’s Grill on West 16th St. with (left) Albert Raby, convener of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, on Jan. 27, 1966. | Sun-Times file photo

King, before he was hit by debris thrown from the crowd during a rally in Marquette Park in 1966. | Sun-Times file photo


Jesse Jackson (far right) joins Raby, King, and Ed Berry at the Civil Rights Summit meeting in Chicago in 1966. | Sun-Times file photo

King meets with Mayor Richard J. Daley in City Hall on March 24, 1966. | Sun-Times file photo


Anti-integrationists picket in Winnetka prior to the arrival of King in July 1965. | Sun-Times file photo


King speaks in a south side neighborhood on July 26, 1965, calling for 500 ministers to march on City Hall two days later. | Sun-Times file photo


A National Guardsman aims his rifle on West Madison Street during riots following the April 4, 1968 assassination of King in Memphis. | Sun-Times file photo

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