On Mother's Day 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Kingstree, South Carolina and gave a remarkable public speech urging the audience of more than 5,000 to exercise their right to vote as a means to pursue social and economic justice. On August 6, 1965—just a eight months prior to Dr. King's speech— President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, allowing the majority of Kingstree's citizens the right to vote.
On May 8, 2016, a commemoration of this “March on the Ballot Boxes” speech will be held. Michael Allen, Community Partnership Specialist with the National Park Service and a member of the Commemoration Planning Committee will talk about the event. Dr. Bobby Donaldson, professor of history and USC, will help put King’s speech into the context of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
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