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MLK Joins 10,000 Civil Rights Marchers in Frankfort, Kentucky

Mar. 5, 1964 - Ten thousand persons from throughout Kentucky marched on Frankfort today. Despite a cold drizzle and blustery winds, they stood for three hours before the state Capitol and asked passage of a bill that would fully remove racial barriers in public accommodations. It was said to be the largest civil rights assemblage since the March on Washington last Aug. 28.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King told the marchers that Negroes must continue to press for equal rights at the risk of being called immoderate. “If moderation means slowing up in our fight,” he said, “then moderation is a tragic vice which members of our race must condemn. The time is now to make real the promises of democracy.”

Governor Edward Breathitt, who remained in his office during the demonstration, later said he would continue to support a public accommodations bill that was much milder than the one sought by the civil rights organizations.

About 10% of the marchers were white — ministers, students, and housewives. Some signs read: “University of Louisville for Freedom Now,” “National Council of Jewish Women Marches for Freedom,” and “We Will March Outside Until We March Inside with Dignity.”

Jackie Robinson, the former baseball star, told the crowd that no Negro would be free until “the last Negro in the Deep South has it made.”

After the rally, Dr. King conferred with Governor Breathitt in the Governor’s office. They emerged later and posed for pictures, warmly shaking hands.


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