Kingstree commemorates 50th anniversary of MLK speech

VIDEO: Kingstree to commemorate 50th anniversary of MLK speech

KINGSTREE, SC (WCSC) - A public celebration Sunday commemorates one of only three speeches historians say Dr. Martin Luther King ever gave in the Palmetto State.

Congressman Jim Clyburn and former South Carolina Rep. Bakari Sellers are scheduled to speak at an event in Kingstree where King delivered his March on Ballot Boxes speech on May 8, 1966.

The speech came months after then President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in August 1965. The act was designed to prohibit racial discrimination at the polls.

"Once more we have the opportunity to send to the congress of the United States competent, qualified, dedicated black men and women," King told the crowd during the speech.

The original speech delivered by King will be shown by the University of South Carolina archives.

The event at Tomlinson High School Athletic Fields will include a gospel celebration at 6 p.m.

A state historical marker will also be placed at the site.

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