Letter from Glenn Olds to Martin Luther King, Jr. (June 16, 1964)
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Dr. Glenn A. Olds, Springfield College’s eighth president, wrote this letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on June 16, 1964. This is an unsigned copy of the letter kept by Springfield College. Dr. Olds thanks Dr. King and his wife for giving “such a stirring and splendid address” at the school’s 1964 commencement ceremony. He provides his phone number and writes that he hopes for “an opportunity for unhurried discussion.” King to speak at Commencement, college President Glenn A. Olds, a minister and conscientious objector during World War II, refused to waver. When King was arrested the day before, Olds contacted law enforcement officials, telling them that if they continued to hold King, school officials would fly down to tape the commencement address, leaving St. Augustine to deal with the attendant publicity. Whether or not his intervention played a role, King was released on a nine hundred dollar bond Saturday afternoon. Met at the airport by Springfield College Economics Professor Robert Randolph, later the first black president of the Massachusetts State College System at Westfield State, King toured the campus, gave a press conference, and shared a brief luncheon with faculty and administration. On the day of commencement, Black Muslim protestors who felt King was too conciliatory and bomb-sniffing dogs greeted the graduating class.
|Olds, Glenn A. (Glenn Alvero), 1921-2006|
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
Olds, Glenn A. (Glenn Alvero), 1921-2006
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
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