News 8 Archives: When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought his mes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

News 8 Archives: When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought his message to San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — As people across the country honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., many San Diegans are remembering when the civil rights leader visited San Diego.

At News 8, we searched archives for footage of Dr King and found a one-on-one interview with him from 1964 when he was in San Diego.

News 8 also found footage of a huge, local memorial for the late civil rights leader at Balboa Park shortly after his assassination in 1968.

News 8 reporter Harold Keen spoke with Dr. King back on May 29, 1964 when he was in San Diego for a speech at California Western University.

Keen asked Dr. King what influence he thought the black vote would have on the presidential election back in 1964.

King said he thought it would have a great influence and "may well determine the next President of the United States."

Keen also asked about the possibility of Dr. King entering politics himself.

"I haven't considered this, at this point," said King. "I do think it is necessary for negroes to become more political-minded. And for more persons of integrity and depth of understanding – I think it's necessary for them to enter politics. But at this point, I feel that my job is in the civil rights struggle and one that should stay above both political parties and not become inextricably bound to either."

Then on April 7, 1968, three days after Dr. King's assassination, San Diego held a local memorial.

It was at the Balboa Park Bowl - now known as the Starlight Bowl.

More than 5,000 people showed up to pay tribute, including San Diego Mayor Frank Curran.

Afterwards, Curran asked to have a floral piece from the city - made of red and white carnations in the shape of a heart - flown back to Atlanta for Dr. King's funeral.

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