Who Knew WashU? 1.17.17

Student Life issue with article about Martin Luther King speaking
The Dec. 3, 1957, issue of Student Life includes an article previewing Martin Luther King’s speech on campus. (Image: University Archives)

Question: Many distinguished individuals have given Assembly Series lectures on campus over the years. Which of the following spoke during the Assembly Series’ first decade (1953-63)?

A) Martin Luther King Jr.

B) Linus Pauling

C) Eleanor Roosevelt

D) All of the above

Answer: D) Martin Luther King Jr., Linus Pauling and Eleanor Roosevelt all spoke here in the Assembly Series’ first decade. This year marks the 60th anniversary of King’s address in Graham Chapel.

At the time, King was a 28-year-old Baptist minister emerging onto the national scene after leading the successful bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. He was among the first in a long line of individuals who visited campus and delivered Assembly Series lectures before becoming well known.

Such was not the case for the former first lady. By invitation from former Chancellor Arthur Holly Compton, Eleanor Roosevelt delivered two lectures here, in 1954 and 1957. Pauling, a renowned chemist and Nobel laureate, also gave an address in 1957.

Congrats to this week’s winner, Lani Lietsch, a student in physical therapy, who will receive an “I Knew WashU” luggage tag!

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