January 2017 | Rebecca Rego Barry

MLK and Vietnam

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we're sharing one of the images from our current issue's feature story about a collection of printed material related to the Vietnam War. This is King's February 1967 anti-war speech, "The Casualties of the War in Vietnam," signed by King.

Martin Luther King signed speech Casualties of The War #2 300 dpi copy.jpgAs the Los Angeles Times reports today, it was fifty years ago this month that King turned his attention to Vietnam, after reading a 28-page essay documenting the use of napalm. "King began agitating against the Vietnam War, a lesser-remembered chapter of his career in which the preacher once again launched an unpopular battle against the prevailing opinions of the establishment, the broader public and even some allies."

In another Vietnam-related speech, given in New York just two months after "Casualties," King said, "If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read 'Vietnam.'" That sentiment certainly harmonizes with the point of view of former Marine and novelist Karl Marlantes, who wrote a piece for the New York Times just last week titled "Vietnam: The War That Killed Trust."

Image Courtesy of Stuart Lutz Historic Documents, Inc.