Area residents gathered at First Church in Simsbury Monday to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and time spent in Simsbury.
King's legacy has special meaning at First Church and in town, where the Civil Rights leader spent two summers working in tobacco fields. In 1944 at just age 15, King experienced his first integrated service at the church.
His experiences in Simsbury deeply influenced
King, according to letters he sent home and later references made in speeches.
Much of that was eloquently documented by Simsbury High students in Summers of Freedom: the Story of
Martin Luther King, Jr. in Connecticut.
On Monday, during the 4th Annual MLK in Simsbury Celebration, speakers celebrated the life of King in many ways. Some offered thoughts based on King's life while others recited from the slain Civil Rights leader's own speeches.
The Simsbury High School treble choir and jazz band provided inspirational music and local clergy prayers for a more just society.
In addition current high school students and MLK in CT Memorial Committee members Lisa Heller (co-chair) and Shannon Cirilli updated attendees on the plans for a permanent memorial at Simsbury Historical Society property along Route 10.
See more about that effort, and more about King's time in town at http://www.mlkinct.com/
See some highlights from the ceremony in the attached video.