JAN. 10, 1960 5 Magazine Street, Cambridge

This is the location (formerly called First Baptist Church) where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his January 10, 1960 sermon, Saint Paul’s Letter to America.  According to the headline of a Cambridge Chronicle article on January 14, 1960, “Over 2,000 Throng Church to Hear Martin Luther King, Alabama Bus Boycott Leader.”

The below is excerpted from the King Institute at Stanford University. To read the full sermon referenced, scan the QR code at the top of the card.

“King began to deliver versions of the [St. Paul’s Letter to America] sermon, written as early as 1956, as national speaking opportunities increased. Between 1956 and 1962, he delivered this sermon at least fifteen times.

In a version delivered in Pittsburgh, PA June 1958, he assumes the apostle Paul’s voice and questions whether Americans’ “spiritual progress has been commensurate with your scientific progress,” specifically stating: “…through your scientific genius you have made of the world a neighborhood. But through your moral and spiritual genius, you have failed to make of it a brotherhood. And so, America, I would urge you to bring your moral advances in line with your scientific advances.”

Today in Cambridge, with its burgeoning science and tech industries a few blocks away, this feels like a particularly relevant question.

Courtesy of Cambridge Public Library from article in Cambridge Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1960. Depicts inside the church during the sermon.

MLK in Cambridge