Dr. Martin Luther King, accompanied by his wife, today paid a visit to the United Nations Headquarters.
Dr. and Mrs. King are seen being greeted by Mr. Ralph J. Bunche, UN Under-Secretary for Special Political Affairs. 4/Dec/1964. UN Photo/x.www.unmultimedia.org/photo/

What Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Thought of the United Nations

Ed note. This post was originally published on August 28 for the 50th anniversary of the I Have a Dream Speech. 

Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s most famous speech.  That speech did not mention the United Nations, but Dr. King was a great supporter of the United Nations, both as an institution and as an ideal.  This is from the speech  “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, which was delivered four days before his assassination.

“It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine.”

King also delivered a speech in front of the UN on April 15 1967; and visited the UN in 1964 where he met Ralph Bunche, an African American UN official who won the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for brokering Arab-Israeli peace talks.