Digging into JFK’s academic career inspired us, on this Martin Luther King Day, to look back on MLK’s connections to Boston.
King became “Dr.” King in June 1955, after earning his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University. He studied personalism, the philosophy that man’s consciousness and identity makes him unique in nature. His doctoral dissertation was titled “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”
King would go on to receive an honorary degree from BU in 1959.
“It was this university that meant so much to me in terms of the formulation of my thinking and the ideas that have guided my life,” King said in an interview recorded in the 1960s.
His BU report card shows King was an A/B student, except for a C in logic. He also took supplemental philosophy classes at Harvard.
In 1964, after he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, King realized he was living history and that he needed to get his personal papers to safety. He donated manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence and even his monogrammed briefcase to BU.
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the holiday commemorating the civil rights activist’s birth. He would have turned 82 on Saturday. Hopefully you’re sipping coffee in bed celebrating the federal holiday.
Around the country, and around the world, people will pause to remember the great man and the great struggle to ensure that all citizens of the United States are treated equally that he helped lead. King, who earned a graduate degree from Boston University, had many connections to Massachusetts. The Globe’s Adrian Walker writes that we should honor King’s memory by remembering King and his compatriots in the civil rights movement today.
Many New Englanders are still in shock, thanks to an awful Patriots loss to the hated New York Jets on Sunday.