In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Detroit Historical Society shares from the collection a 1966 program for the June 19 “We Rally For Freedom” at Cobo Hall. The program is signed by Martin Luther King, Jr., United Auto Workers’ President Walter Reuther, and Governor G. Mennen Williams.
The illustration on the program cover references James Meredith, the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi. In 1966, Meredith commenced a solo March Against Fear between Memphis, Tennessee and Jackson, Mississippi, to dramatize the continuing civil rights struggle. On the second day of the march, a white gunman shot Meredith. During his recovery, major civil rights organizations continued the march in Meredith’s name. On June 25, six days after the Detroit rally, Meredith rejoined the march, taking his place at the front with Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders.