First Edition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1958 Book Stride Toward Freedom Signed by King On Exhibit at Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Jan 7th, 2014Press Release from Lehigh County Historical Society

 Allentown, PA – The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum will celebrate the birthday of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by holding a special program at the Museum on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 20th at 1:00 p.m.  The announcement was made by Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum.

This is a program for all people,” said Garrera.  “We’ve placed Dr. King at the center because, despite facing the pain of despair and crippling discrimination, King remained focused on nonviolence.  He is a hero to America and free people everywhere.  No one did more in America to galvanize the Civil Rights movement than King.”

According to Garrera, King’s words speak to America today, preaching nonviolence and tolerance.  On display at the Museum will be an extremely rare First Edition of King’s 1958 book Stride Toward Freedom, signed by King and authenticated by three national experts.  The book is King’s account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott that took place from December 1, 1955 to December 21, 1956.

According to Garrera, Dr. King’s writings represent many of the most compelling and uplifting ideas in American history.  For example, in Stride Toward Freedom, King states that the old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.  It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert.  “This,” said Garrera, “was Dr. King’s route to victory, and it worked.”

King is revered worldwide as an apostle of nonviolent resistance.  In 1959 he visited the family of Mahatma Gandhi, proclaiming on his last day in India, “I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people….”  King’s life of reconciliation and nonviolence remains a stirring example to people around the world.

The program honoring Dr. King will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 20, the national observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The Museum, which is normally closed on Mondays, will be open special hours from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. that day.  Museum admission is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children; members are free.

The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is a 30,000 square foot teaching institution that attracts a diverse audience.  Its collections of historical Americana include over 35,000 three-dimensional objects, 3 million documents and more than 80,000 vintage photographs.  The Museum is located at 432 W. Walnut Street in Allentown.   Parking is available in the rear of the Museum, on the street, and in nearby lots.  For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, Executive Director, at 484-553-2592 (cell) any time of day or at 610-435-1074. Visit or visit us on Facebook.

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  CONTACT: Joseph Garrera, Executive Director

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

cell: 484-553-2592

(610) 435-1074, Ext. 19


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