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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visits to UW–Madison bookended pivotal moments of the civil rights movement. Originally invited to campus in 1961, he was stymied due to his arrest for protesting segregation in Georgia. A later invitation to give a lecture as part of a series by the Union Forum Committee brought King to campus for the first time, and he took the stage at the Wisconsin Union Theater on March 30, 1962. In his lecture, he not only called for racial and social justice, but reminded the audience of America’s promise of freedom and equality for all. Not long after, King led the March on Washington where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and received a Nobel Peace Prize for his activism. On the heels of this momentous year for the civil rights movement, King returned to campus for a second visit in 1965. In his speech, held at the Stock Pavilion on November 23, King emphasized the continuing need for activism, despite recent successes, saying, “A piece of freedom is not enough for us as human beings. A piece of liberty no longer suffices. Freedom is like life. Freedom is one thing. It is indivisible. You have it all, or you are not free.” (Hear it straight from MLK in this full recording.) See how campus is honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

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