By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) – The 1960s were a turbulent time in America, even for the progressive leaning New England.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared an audience at Boston’s Ford Hall Forum, three weeks before he was jailed in Birmingham, Ala.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

King said during the forum that “no area of our country can boast of clean hands in the area of brotherhood, and the estrangement of the races in the North can be as devastating as the segregation of the races in the South.”

Then, in 1965, “Bloody Sunday” brought a violent backlash to the march led by King from Selma to Montgomery.

Just a month later, King marched on Boston.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks on Boston Common. (WBZ-TV)

Considering Boston his second home, the Boston University graduate led marchers from a playground in Roxbury to the Boston Common.

The goal was to shed light on school and housing discrimination in Boston.

“Now in the North, the twin evils of housing and employment discrimination stand out as they do all over this country. These must be grappled with in a very significant and determined manner,” said King.

It became the first civil rights march ever in the Northeast.

Paul Burton


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