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King speech accessible for limited time on Bethel Web site

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s unveiling on Jan. 18 of the recently recovered recording of Martin Luther King’s Jan. 21, 1960, speech in Memorial Hall generated quite a buzz.

The coverage on local TV stations and particularly by National Public Radio in the Jan. 18 national broadcast of “Morning Edition,” along with the playing of the recording to a packed house in Krehbiel Auditorium, brought inquiries from around the country about getting copies.

By special arrangement with the King Estate in Atlanta, between March 1 and 31, Bethel Web visitors may listen to the audio and read the text of the speech at A recording and transcript of the question-and-answer period following King’s lecture are also included.

Permission to listen to the speech or read the transcript has been granted for one month only. It may not be downloaded nor printed. The license has been granted by Intellectual Properties Management, Atlanta, as exclusive licensor of the King Estate.

In addition to the premier of the recording – regarded by many as the highlight of the day – Bethel’s 2010 celebration of the King holiday included a panel of alumni sharing their experiences as audience members at King’s lecture at Bethel, as Civil Rights activists and as exchange students at Spelman College, Atlanta; dedication of a plaque in Memorial Hall; jazz by Bethel Assistant Professor of Music Jim Pisano and friends; an exhibit of art by local elementary school students; and King friend and colleague Vincent Harding speaking in the evening.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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