Chicago History Museum remembers legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago History Museum is remembering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a new exhibit, a winding gallery of images that takes you through pivotal moments of the Civil Rights movement and King's time in Chicago.

"Really the 50th anniversary of his assassination is the major reason we decided to install this exhibition," said Director of Curatorial Affairs Joy Bivins, Chicago History Museum.

Bivins said the collection includes artifacts from famous national events, as well as many from the mid-1960s when Chicago became a focal point of King's movement.

"In 1964 he really stepped up his participation in Chicago because he was the headliner at the Illinois Rally for Civil Rights at Soldier Field. In 1965 the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was the organization he headed, turned their attention to a northern campaign and Chicago was the city they decided upon," she explained.

"In 1966 he famously moved to the West Side in the Lawndale neighborhood, so he was here for much of that year. Really engaging with racial issues that were happening here in the city," Bivins said.

Just two years after living in Lawndale, King was killed. But today his legacy lines the walls and fills the room at the Chicago History Museum to not only remember the loss, but keep King's message alive.

"Ultimately this about taking the time to reflect that on April 4, 1968. This giant, this prophet was gunned down primarily because of his espousal of freedom and equality for all Americans and for all of human kind and I think that is something worth remembering," said Bivins.

The Chicago History Museum also contributed the historical background for a walking tour of places in Chicago where King made an impact. To take the walking tour, download the Vamonde app.
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