Fair Housing Exhibit to memorialize Dr. King`s 1966 Chicago home - FOX 32 News Chicago

Fair Housing Exhibit to memorialize Dr. King`s 1966 Chicago home

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Wednesday marks 50 years since one of the most memorable, moving, and important speeches in American history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech in Washington D.C. helped persuade the nation to approve sweeping new civil rights laws the years that followed.

A special celebration is planned Wednesday in Washington on the spot where king delivered his speech. There are also plans in Chicago to commemorate another anniversary: the day Dr. King moved his family into a ramshackle, West Side apartment building at 1550 South Hamlin on January 26, 1966.

45 families reside in the modern, multi-colored brick apartment building that now occupies the corner of Hamlin and 16th Street. For six months in 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his wife Coretta Scott King and their children lived in a run-down, tenement building that once stood here, while King campaigned against segregation in the North.

"He actually lived and what he did in bringing light to fair housing in the world, in America, that we appreciate that. And that's why we have done, we have started on, right now," says Kim Jackson of the MLK Fair Housing Exhibit Center.

Kim Jackson said her group needs to raise about $300,000 to open a Fair Housing Exhibit in a first floor space on the site. January 26th is the target date, the 48th anniversary of the King Family moving into North Lawndale.

Beyond that are far more ambitious plans for a "Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial District" that would require millions of dollars. On Thursday evening, there will be a gathering of longtime Lawndale residents past and present.

"People who actually were part of history here when Dr. King actually lived here and we're gonna hear stories from them," Jackson explains.

The event is at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Chicago Hope Academy.

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