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Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.'s Days In Connecticut On His Holiday

As an adult, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about the time he spent working in Connecticut as a teen and how he encountered less segregation in the North.
As an adult, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about the time he spent working in Connecticut as a teen and how he encountered less segregation in the North. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – As Connecticut and the nation mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15, ConnecticutHistory.org is highlighting the civil rights leader's experiences in the Nutmeg State.

ConnecticutHistory.org reminds residents that King's dream had its roots partially in Connecticut, where he worked as a 15-year-old to earn money for school and his family.

"In the summer of 1944, a young Martin Luther King Jr. worked at the Simsbury tobacco farm of Cullman Brothers Inc.," ConnecticutHistory.org posted on its website. "King’s letters home to his mother and father reveal a 15-year-old’s astonishment at the prospects open to African Americans in the comparatively less restrictive North."

He wrote about worshipping with white people in a Simsbury church and dining at a fine restaurant in Hartford, according to ConnecticutHistory.org.

In his autobiography, King wrote that his experiences in Connecticut and during the train ride home to Atlanta heightened his awareness of the injustices of segregation in the U.S. From New York to Washington, King could sit where he pleased on the train. But from D.C. to Atlanta, he had to ride in the separate Jim Crow car.

Monday, Jan. 15, is a federal, state and local holiday. Many schools and offices will be closed.

To read the full post about King's time in Connecticut and for more links on the topic, click here for ConnecticutHistory.org. Click here for further information from the Simsbury Historical Society on King's time working in Connecticut as a teenager.

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