Odds and quads - 10 October 2013

On 13 November 1967, Newcastle University became the first and only British university to give Martin Luther King an honorary degree during his lifetime

October 10, 2013

Less than five months later, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

Despite a frenetic schedule as he campaigned for Carl Stokes in his successful bid to become the first black mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr King took time out to visit the UK for 24 hours to receive in person his honorary doctorate of civil law from the university’s chancellor, the Duke of Northumberland.

In a moving acceptance speech that held the audience enthralled, Dr King spoke of the “inescapable network of mutuality” binding together black and white.

“With this faith,” he concluded, “we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation, and of all the nations in the world, into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood and speed up the day when all over the world justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Martin Luther King signs a register at Newcastle University

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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