On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Chicago remembers his time spent in our city, expanding his civil rights movement from the South.
King brought his movement for equal rights north to Chicago in 1966, targeting the city’s stark segregation. Here, hundreds marched with him to challenge the policies that maintained the rigidly white ethnic enclave, Marquette Park.
“I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama, mobs as hateful as I’ve seen here,” King said of Chicago.
In this gallery of Chicago Sun-Times and AP archival photos, King is seen energizing crowds and facing violent attacks as he led the march in Marquette Park. The photos, from 1966, show him renovating deteriorating buildings and confronting Mayor Richard J. Daley. He’s also captured in lighter moments, waving with his wife, Coretta Scott King, from the third-floor apartment he rented on Chicago’s West Side, and showing off his skills at a pool hall.
Dr. King speaks at a Chicago Freedom Movement rally in Soldier Field.
Dr. King announces Chicago as the target of his first major effort in the North.
Dr. King and his wife, Coretta, wave from apartment he rented on Chicago’s West Side. Dr. King and his wife, Coretta, wave from apartment he rented on Chicago’s West Side., Jan. 26, 1966. Dr. King announced he will spend two or three days a week in Chicago directing a campaign against slum conditions. Mrs. King said she would stay in the flat for tonight only, and then return to Atlanta. Dr. King pays $90 a month rent for the four-room apartment. | AP Photo/Edward Kitch
King and Coretta are shown renovating a building.
King attacks slum conditions at an apartment building.
During a visit to a pool hall, King demonstrates his proficiency with a cue.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, kneeling, huddles with King and Bernard Lee of King’s staff on Aug. 20, 1966. | Sun-Times file photo
Dr. King, left, pictured in his first meeting with Elijah Muhammad.
Hands of civil rights leaders Al Raby, left, and King, post scroll listing demands at Chicago’s City Hall.
Dr. King in Marquette Park on Aug. 5, 1966, before he was hit by debris thrown by the crowd. | Sun-Times file photo
Dr. King falls after being struck by a rock from a taunting mob in Marquette Park, Aug. 5, 1966. | Sun-Times file photo
Dr. King leads civil rights marchers in song and prayer in front of real estate office. | AP photo
King: Mayor Daley could do more “to deal with problems we confront in the Negro community.”
Mayor Richard Daley, right, foreground, sits across room from Dr. King to discuss open housing.
With Rev. Jesse Jackson in Chicago. King:”We aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around.”
Dr. King addresses an impromptu press conference.
American Nazi Party marchers at Greater Mount Hope Baptist Church, where King was meeting.
White youths display racist sign as Dr. King and demonstrators marched into all-white neighborhood.
Reporters interview Dr. King after court-issued injunction restricted civil rights marches in Chicago.
Dr. King leads civil rights marchers in an all-white neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
After rainy civil rights march, drops of rain glisten on Dr. King’s forehead.