San Diego, California - San Diego State University is hosting an event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1964 campus address - one of the most important moments in campus history.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature addresses by local community leaders, civil rights advocates, historians and students as well as the unveiling of a new permanent plaque that will be placed in the California Coast Open Air Theatre in King’s honor.

The university will also share memories and artifacts uncovered during the search for memorabilia from King’s campus visit.

Wednesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m.  

Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, on the Campus of SDSU

  • Guest speakers will include SDSU President Elliot Hirshman; campus historian and chair of the anthropology department Seth Mallios; and alumnus Willie Horton, whose life was forever changes by MLK’s visit
  • A plaque commemorating MLK’s speech will be unveiled
  • Three SDSU students who won an essay contest will read essays inspired by MLK’s speech
  • Original newspaper articles and memorabilia from the speech will be on display
  • Professor Seth Mallios will be available for interview immediately following the event

On May 29, 1964, King visited what was then San Diego State College and gave a public address in the Open Air Theatre. His impassioned speech urged all Americans to push for the passage of legislation that would help counter racial prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.