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springfield college to co-sponsor lecture by taylor branch, author of king biography

September 28, 2006

Taylor BranchSpringfield College will co-sponsor the October 11, 2006, lecture in Symphony Hall by noted historian Taylor Branch, author of a three-volume biography of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The lecture is part of the Springfield Public Forum series of lectures free to the public.

With passion and insight, Mr. Branch has chronicled the high-stakes political events and the day-to-day struggles of the farmers and teachers, sharecroppers and dentists who fought for their freedom and for racial equality in America.

Dr. King came to Springfield College in June 1964 to speak at Commencement and receive an honorary degree. He arrived on campus directly from the St. John’s County Jail in Florida, where he had been incarcerated for three days for leading a non-violent protest against segregation in the city of St. Augustine.

The late Dr. Glenn Olds, president of the College at that time, made the courageous decisions to invite Dr. King and to get him released from jail to come to Springfield, despite threats of various kinds from a major donor and representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Branch’s work on Dr. King omits any reference to Dr. King’s visit to Springfield College, but Mr. Branch has graciously acknowledged his omission and promised to rectify it in future editions.

Springfield College is honored to co-sponsor Mr. Branch’s lecture with Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, PC, a prominent Springfield law firm. The lecture is free to the public, in Symphony Hall, Wednesday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m.

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