Following the 1965 Watts riots, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Los Angeles. Larry Sharkey’s news conference image above, was taken after a “stormy meeting” — as described in the Los Angeles Times — between King and Mayor Sam Yorty.
Yorty later criticized King’s suggestion that Police Chief William H. Parker resign because of the LAPD’s actions during the riots.
April 12, 1967: Martin Luther King Jr. during a news conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Responding to criticism of his anti-Vietnam War stance, King said, “Until we get rid of this war,” national problems of poverty, slums and urban blight cannot be solved. Jack Carrick / Los Angeles Times
King, born on Jan. 15, 1929, and assassinated April 4, 1968, changed America forever with his leadership of the civil rights movement. His determination to bring change through nonviolent methods contributed to passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech is regarded as one of the finest in American history. In 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize.
During King’s years in the civil rights movement, he visited Southern California several times. This photo gallery consists of images taken by Los Angeles Times photographers.
This gallery was originally published on Jan. 16, 2012.
July 9, 1960: King with the Rev. Maurice Dawkins of the People’s Independent Church of Christ when King was in Los Angeles for a Civil Rights rally and the Democratic National Convention. Jack Carrick / Los Angeles Times
June 18, 1961: King with California Gov. Pat Brown during a Freedom Rally at the L.A. Sports Arena, where Brown introduced King to an overflow crowd of 25,000. Jack Carrick / Los Angeles Times
June 18, 1961: The Sports Arena is filled to the rafters for the Freedom Rally where King spoke. Los Angeles Times
June 18, 1961: Overflow crowd outside the Sports Arena was able to hear Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speech. Bill Murphy / Los Angeles Times
May 31, 1964: King speaks at a civil rights rally at L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Listening from left are entertainer Walter O’Keefe, the Rev. Bryon C. Cole, the Rev. Joseph Francis and the Rev. John H. Burt. Cal Montney / Los Angeles Times
Oct. 27, 1964: King pauses to chat with a young girl during a tour of the Nickerson Gardens housing project. Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times
Feb. 24, 1965: A crowd of admirers welcomes King on his arrival at Los Angeles International Airport for a series of speeches. Jack Carrick / Los Angeles Times
April 27, 1965: King addresses students at UCLA. John Malmin / Los Angeles Times
Aug. 17, 1965: King speaks to the press after arriving at LAX on a trip to try to calm racial tensions in the city following the Watts riots. Behind him are the Rev. H. H. Brookins, left, and Norman B. Houston. Jack Carrick / Los Angeles Times
Apr. 7, 1968: A crowd of over 20,000 attended a memorial service for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at L.A. Coliseum three days after his assassination in Memphis, Tenn. Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times
Jan. 16, 1987: Coretta Scott King, lower right, gazes up at a bronze bust of her late husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., after unveiling it in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. She called the statue a reminder “of our moral obligation to civil rights.” Bernie Boston / Los Angeles Times
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Courtesy: Los Angeles Times