(WIVB) – Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The civil rights leader made a visit to Buffalo in November 1967 to speak at Kleinhans Music Hall, sponsored by the UB Student Association and Graduate Student Association.
Dr. King’s speech, titled “The Future of Integration”, lasted just under one hour.
He started his speech, in front of an audience of more than 2,000 people, by thanking the dean for his introduction.
“My life is something of a life of contrasts,” Dr. King said. “Tonight, I was escorted to this beautiful auditorium by very efficient police officers of the City of Buffalo. Last week, I was being escorted to the Birmingham city jail by police officers. I can assure you, this is a more refreshing atmosphere.”
Dr. King had been arrested along with Rev. Ralph Abernathy on Oct. 30, 1967 and spent about a week in jail before making bond for leading peaceful protests against bans on race-mixing in 1963.
At the end of the speech, Dr. King drew a long round of applause from the audience when he addressed the Vietnam War.
“I’m afraid our national administration is more concerned about winning what I consider an ill-considered and unjust war in Vietnam than about winning the war against poverty right here at home,” Dr. King said.
The University at Buffalo has preserved a recording of the speech. You can listen to it in its entirety above.