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Archive for Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Martin Luther King papers to return home

October 10, 2006

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— The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 78th birthday in January will feature a gift to the city: the first public viewing of more than 10,000 of his documents, notes and other personal items.

Pieces of the King Collection - from a term paper he wrote as a student at Atlanta's Morehouse College to a draft of his "I Have A Dream" speech and his acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize - will be on display at the Atlanta History Center.

"The Martin Luther King Jr. Collection is home," a beaming Mayor Shirley Franklin said Monday.

After years in the basement of the King family home, the documents, books, and other items in the collection were moved to Sotheby's nearly a decade ago. Sotheby's tried to sell the collection, but previous negotiations fell through. It put them back on the market after King's widow, Coretta Scott King, died in February.

The mayor pulled off the 11th-hour deal to buy the papers in June for $32 million with the help of more than 50 corporate, government and private donors.

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