New Recording Discovered of a 1964 Address by Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Dayton

Earlier this year an unlabeled reel-to-reel tape was found among the belongings of Herbert Woodward Martin, a poet and professor emeritus at the University of Dayton. The tape contained an audio recording of a speech given at the university by Martin Luther King Jr. on November 29, 1964. Previously, there was no known recording or transcript of King’s remarks that day.

King began the speech with a joke because he arrived late due to snowy travel conditions. He remarked, “I’d rather be Martin Luther King late, than the late Martin Luther King.” He went on to say that “racial segregation was on its deathbed. The only thing that is uncertain is how costly the segregationists will make the funeral.”

Professor Martin was not at the University of Dayton at the time of the speech and does not know how the tape came into his possession.