45 years ago today—February 23, 1968—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the keynote speaker at a benefit, marking the 100th birthday of W. E. B. DuBois held at Carnegie Hall. In his tribute that night, King remarked that "Dr. DuBois has left us, but he has not died. The spirit of freedom is not buried in the grave of the valiant."
These words soon assumed added poignancy: On April 4, 1968, scarcely six weeks later, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis. His speech at Carnegie Hall was his last major public address.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the podium, Carnegie Hall, February 23, 1968. Photo by Jim Hinton, courtesy of Norma Rogers / Carnegie Hall Archives.
Related: Hall History