First Church of Christ in Simsbury, CT
Mentioned in MLK's letters to his parents

Awakening 
"The Dream"
In Simsbury

Letters from Simsbury in 1944 when Dr. King was 15 years old. Links to Stanford University's collection, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.

June 11, 1944

June 15, 1944

June 18, 1944

August 5, 1944

August 30, 1944

Seminary Application

Contents

Home
Our Document Library
MLK statues across the country
Archives of Committee Activities
Links
Luddy / Taylor
Connecticut Valley
Tobacco Museum
Simsbury Historical Society at Phelps Tavern Museum
The King Center, Atlanta GA

Stanford University's Collection

MLK's 
"I have a Dream Speech"
MLK's 
"A Time to Break Silence"

The Martin Luther King Memorial in Simsbury Committee 
is currently in hiatus and has no regular meetings planned

To send an e-mail, click => here or
contact Wayne Coste, webmaster, at (860) 651-1600


Special Program Commemorating 
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.ís 
Life and Time in Simsbury †


1st Annual Event Held on January 17 
free and open to public

January 17th, 2011
Eno Memorial Hall,
1 PM

The  Town of Simsbury, in partnership with the Simsbury Free Library welcome you to this event 

For more information, click => here


Vision: 

A group of area citizens came together to commemorate the presence of the young Martin Luther King, Jr. as he worked to earn his tuition with other Morehouse College Students in Simsbury during the summers of 1944 and 1947. The group had envisioned a statue and sanctuary for reflection, contemplation and illumination.  As envisioned, such a sanctuary would inform residents and visitors alike, of Simsbury's connection to the young Dr. King's personal history as he continued to develop his view of human nature, of the world and of his emerging place in that world. The ever-present, spiritual commitment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his tough-minded insistence on rational thought, continue to inspire us; his contributions to Civil Rights and to the art of citizenship are a model of courageous love worthy of examination. This is a great American whom we would be proud to celebrate.  While we will continue to commemorate Dr. King and his presence in Simsbury, the sanctuary, as originally envisioned, is no longer being pursued.


Martin Luther King, Jr. in Simsbury

In the summer of 1944, a boy named Michael King traveled from Atlanta with a group of students from Morehouse College to work in the tobacco fields in Simsbury, CT. This was his first exposure to the Northeast and to a society that was not formally segregated and provided a number of interactions with the communities in the Connecticut River Valley. Michael was black and from the segregated south. Those who met him would never imagine that he would become one of the 20th century's most recognized personalities.

Michael King Jr. eventually changed his name to Martin Luther King, Jr. and went on to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. Dr. King's writings strongly suggest that his call to the ministry crystallized during his stay in Simsbury working in the tobacco fields.

A group of local residents have come together to create a permanent memorial to honor Dr. King and to acknowledge the historic significance of his presence in Simsbury as a young man. Through this memorial, we wish to simultaneously celebrate his connection to Simsbury, his winning the Nobel Prize, and his life's work on behalf of others.


We on the "Committee" are compiling information about Martin Luther King's (a.k.a. Michael King's) time in Simsbury.  While not much survives in document form that directly relates to him and his time in Simsbury, the social environment can be explored through records and publications of the day.  Pam McDonald, a Simsbury resident, has done a great deal of research on these issues and her research is highlighted below.


The "Committee" has paused a number of times to reflect on the following points:

  • What experiences encourages a person to view the world "hopefully" as opposed to viewing the world "cynically?"
  • How an interaction with an ordinary person you may encounter today, may affect someone to become a great leader in the future. 

Research Work of Pam McDonald

Collected by Pam McDonald, Westminster School, Simsbury, CT
In partial fulfillment of her Master of Library Science Degree 
from Syracuse University 

Links to Pam's Documents -

Highlights of Summer Research - 2000

Brief Orientation to the Collection

Finding Aid for Primary Source Material


Additional documents can be found => here