Wednesday marks the 50-year anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
In honor of King, Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner will host an open house Friday, April 6, focusing on themes and conversations King supported.
“For about the first half hour, I want to show the film from The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. It is in the motel where King was assassinated, the Lorraine Motel, and it talks about the day he was assassinated and the events leading up to it,” said Renner.
The film is “The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 309,” and Renner will hold a brief discussion after the showing. Time will also be allotted for general city questions and concerns from the public after the King presentation concludes.
“The purpose of this is, obviously, to remind people of this very critical event in American history 50 years ago but also, this was the process of us becoming a more perfect union,” said Renner.
On Feb. 10, 1966, King spoke at Illinois Wesleyan University for the second time, five years after his first visit there. In his speech, King made a passionate case for racial equality.
“Martin Luther King tried to appeal to the best of us as human beings and we will have no shortage of people trying to gain political advantage by appealing to the worst of us as human beings so I think, more than ever, this is a critical event,” said Renner, also a professor at IWU.
The open house will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the “fishbowl” conference room at City Hall.
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