Location, date, and time of speech that convinced MLK of the methods of nonviolence, revealed. The speech took place at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia on November 19th, 1950 at 3:45 pm. The Church’s application to place it on the National Historic Registry will be heard on June, 7th.

I have been researching the early years of Martin Luther King Jr. for the last seven years to try and convince the state of NJ to place a home in Camden on the NJ and National historic registries, but they refuse to budge, Even though I have several letters of support from some of the nation’s most renowned historians, the state of NJ still considers MLK’s first civil rights battle, which took place in Maple Shade, NJ, on June 12th of 1950, to be of “minimal historic import”. King and three friends were chased from an all white establishment by the proprietor, who shot a gun of into the air when the group refused to leave and said “I’ll kill for less”.

In 2020, the NJ DEP sent me a denial letter, which included the opinion of two historians, opinions that were used without the authors permission. Both of the historians have since written a letter of support to place the home where Dr. King planned his first protest from on the historic registry., but NJ authorities still refuse to accept their expert opinions.

A couple of weeks after NJ denied the application in 2020, I found the holy grail in the study of the research of Dr. King, which was the date and time of the speech that was given by Dr. Mordecai Johnson. Not only did I locate the date and time, which had gone unknown since the study of King began, but I found the correct location of the event, which was previously thought to be held “at the Fellowship House”, but it was not. The Fellowship House, which was an organization dedicated to bringing equality amongst the races and sexes, sponsored a monthly speakers series that took place during 1950, at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.

We now know the date, time and correct location of the speech that Dr. King himself, claimed to have convinced him of the methods of nonviolence that King wrote in Stride Toward Freedom that he had been searching for months for the right method, which is a passage that never made sense prior to my discovery of the date and time. It was previously thought that the speech took place in the beginning of 1950, which was months before the event took place Maple Shade, but we now know that it happened months after the Maple Shade events fizzled out.

King had been searching for “months” due to the events in Maple Shade not panning out the way he had planned, so he needed a new method, one that would be effective for the social change he was trying to effect, which is exactly where the speech my Mordecai Johnson fit in. We now finally have a date, place and time that we can celebrate the speech that brought Dr. King to nonviolence, all from a high school drop out.

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