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Dr. King Punched by American Nazi

Sept. 28, 1962 - Dr. Martin Luther King, apostle of nonviolence, was punched twice in the face today by a self-styled member of the American Nazi party. The 6-foot, 200-pound white man slugged the much shorter Dr. King on the stage during the closing session of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s annual convention. The assailant identified himself to police as Roy James 24, of Arlington, Va. Dr. King suffered a bruised left cheekbone and a swelling near the ear, but neither he nor a half-dozen associates on the platform, nor any of 300 other persons present, made any move to retaliate. Instead, Dr. King asked his assailant why the attack had been made. Mr. James declared he had been overcome with fury when Dr. King announced that Sammy Davis Jr., the entertainer, would give a benefit performance for the conference Dec. 11 at the Westchester County Playhouse in White Plains, N.Y. Mr. James said that Dr. King stood for “race mixing,” and he denounced Mr. Davis for having married a white woman. The man apparently had dropped in at the public meeting without premeditation. Although Dr. King did not wish to press charges, the police took the assailant into custody. Within three hours, he had been questioned, taken to Recorders Court, found guilty of assault and battery, and sentenced by Judge C.H. Brown to 30 days in prison and a fine of $25 and costs.

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