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This week in history: How Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used protests to get Mayor Daley to listen

Protesting works. Just look at how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Chicago marches made an impact on the Daley administration.

A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family
A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family printed in the April 8, 1968 edition of the Chicago Daily News.
Chicago Daily News

As reported in the Chicago Daily News, sister publication of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Protests against injustice have a rich history of driving change in Chicago, and 52 years ago, the Chicago Daily News was telling that story.

An obituary for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. published in the April 8, 1968 edition of the newspaper details how the civil rights icon used protests in the city to force the Daley administration to listen to him.

In 1966, King rented an apartment in the “S. Homan St. slum in Chicago,” according to the obituary, and started leading marches into all white neighborhoods to oppose redlining.

“They responded with violence and the city became a huge tinder box,” the obituary said. “Hundreds of policemen were out daily to protect the marchers.”

But King’s persistence — his “tactics of deliberate crisis,” according to the obituary — paid off.

“Mayor Daley and other leaders finally sat down with him and promised to work for an ‘open city.’ The marches were called off.”