10.19.2010

Wednesday, October 19, 1960: Martin Luther King arrested

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested in Atlanta after taking part in a sit-in protest at a department store. He remains in jail until October 26, when he is taken to a state prison; because he had been arrested, he was found to have violated probation from a May traffic ticket in Georgia. John F. Kennedy calls King's wife to express his concern. Robert F. Kennedy calls the judge in the case and secures King's release on October 27. The end result: the Democrats are cast as the party of civil rights, and blacks vote their appreciation for Kennedy's actions. Some historians (as well as President Eisenhower) believe it helped tip the balance in the presidential election.

* Account from "The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume V": @
* Account from "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.": @
* Account from "John F. Kennedy: A Biography": @
* "The Case of Martin Luther King" (pamphlet distributed in black churches in the days before the election; scroll down to second and third pages): @
* Transcript of King interview (October 27): @
* Audio interview about events of October 19: @
* TV interviews:
-- King (October 19): @
-- Atlanta mayor William Hartsfield (October 24): @
-- King's attorney, Donald Hollowell (October 27): @

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