Feb. 20 event features recording of King speech at Keuka College

“Class of this great institution of learning, and ladies and gentlemen. I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to have the privilege and opportunity of being here today and being on the campus of Keuka College.”

With those words, Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began the baccalaureate address on the campus of Keuka College June 16, 1963. Those words can now be heard for the first time in 55 years.

Long thought lost to the ages, a reel-to-reel recording of this historic address was recently returned to Keuka College by a former employee. The approximately 35-minute speech has now been digitally transferred and will be played for the public at a listening event on campus during Black History Month.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to our campus was a watershed moment in the College’s history,” said College President Dr. Jorge L. DÍaz-Herrera. “So we are thrilled to have the original recording of this stirring speech back in our possession – and even more excited to share it with the public.”

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