by John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

With the advent and now passing of Martin Luther King Day on January 15th I have not been able to find any evidence that King ever gave a speech to either a Rotary Club or a plenary session of Rotary International.

The best list of speeches I could find is from Wikipedia at:

There is, however, evidence that ties The Rotary Club of Atlanta to the aftermath of King’s death and burial.

Mayor Ivan Allen Jr150x130 Dinkler Plaza Hotel 1968 163x130 Rebecca Burns 120x130

Mayor Ivan Allen

Dinkler Plaza Hotel

Rebecca Burns


In a book by Rebecca Burns titled, “Burial for a King,” published in 2011, the author describes on pages 194-195, the Mayor of Atlanta, Ivan Allen Jr’s  visit to The Rotary Club of Atlanta on January 6, (1969).      “Nine days earlier,” must have been December 29, 1968.

Further digging at Wikipedia reveals that “Allen was an active member of the Atlanta Rotary Club from 1939 until his death.” And “In 1965, Allen made a very private commitment to himself and to his wife Louise that he would not seek a third term in office. This was not revealed to the public until January 1969, when Allen formally announced his decision at a meeting of the Atlanta Rotary Club.” [2]

This is not meant in any way to make a political statement but simply to rest as a historical footnote between the life of MLK and one Rotary Club.


Page 194

Burial for a King Burns 700px p194

Burial for a King Burns 700px p195