KING IN HAMPTON ROADS

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September 27, 1956

HAMPTON INSTITUTE, HAMPTON

In one of his earliest visits to Virginia as a public figure, Dr. King delivered his talk, “The Montgomery Story,” at Hampton Institute. En route to Hampton that morning King had been refused service in the main dining room of the Atlanta airport's restaurant, and had his first meal of the day after his talk.

January 2, 1958

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, NEWPORT NEWS

At the First Baptist Church of Newport News annual Emancipation Celebration program, Dr. King gave his speech, “Facing the Challenge of a New Age.”

June 30, 1961

CITY ARENA, NORFOLK

At a rally sponsored by the Virginia Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. King spoke to an audience of 2,500. “If America is to remain a first class nation,” he told the crowd, “it can’t have second class citizens.”

June 26, 1962

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, WILLIAMSBURG

Dr. King visited Williamsburg to address an overflow crowd at First Baptist Church on Scotland Street.

June 28, 1962

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, NEWPORT NEWS

Returning to Newport News for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Fund for Freedom Drive, Dr. King spoke to an audience of 700 at First Baptist Church.

June 28, 1963

UNION HALL AND PEANUT PARK, SUFFOLK

At a rally held by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. King gave a press conference at Union Hall on East Washington Street and a talk at Peanut Park.

October 29, 1966

NEW CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH, NORFOLK

In what was described as a “whirlwind visit,” Dr. King attended the installation services of Dr. Milton A. Reid at New Calvary Baptist Church, followed by a press conference with reporters and Norfolk State College students.

March-April, 1968

To encourage participation at the Poor People's March on Washington, Dr. King intended to visit Norfolk, Suffolk, and several locations in Southside but cancelled to go to Memphis in support of a sanitation workers' strike. In Memphis, on April 4, Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony of his motel.

King in Hampton Roads information flyer (pdf) »

Beloved Community Conversations

On June 6, 2018, the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission held aOn June 6, 2018, the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission held a Beloved Community Conversation at First Baptist Church on Scotland Street in Williamsburg, where Dr. King had spoken 55 years before, reflecting on Dr. King's time in Williamsburg and asking, "Where do we go from here?" The discussion featured remarks from Col. Lafayette Jones, who was present for Dr. King's visit to First Baptist Church.


Featuring speakers and panelists Reverend Reginald Davis of First Baptist Church; Reverend Christopher Epperson of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church; COL Lafayette Jones of the James City County Historical Commission; Senator Monty Mason, First District of Virginia; Brian J. Smalls, President of the York-James City-Williamsburg Branch NAACP; and Dr. Robert Vinson, Associate Professor of History & Africana Studies, William & Mary. Moderated by Commission Chair Senator Jennifer McClellan.

 

On July 24, 2018, the Commission held a Beloved Community Conversation in Suffolk at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, fifty-five years after Dr. King visited Union Hall and Peanut Park in Suffolk. Mrs. Ruby Walden and Bishop James Johnson were present for Dr. King's visit and gave their firsthand accounts.


Featuring speakers and panelists Delegate Cliff Hayes, 77th District; Helivi Holland, City Attorney, City of Suffolk; Bishop James Johnson, Hill Street Worship Center, Inc.; Mayor Linda T. Johnson, City of Suffolk; Ruby Walden, Civic and Community Leader; and Dr. Felton Whitfield, District Superintendent and Pastor. Moderated by Commission Chair Senator Jennifer L. McClellan.