April 20, 1960

By Betsy Thorpe

The day after the bombing of Alexander Looby’s home, Dr. Martin Luther King arrived in Nashville. At a speech delivered at Fisk University and attended by many student activists and local civil rights leaders, Dr. King praised them as “the best organized and the most disciplined in the Southland.” It was also during this speech that he first spoke the words most associated with the Nashville movement, “I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in this community.”

Today those words are an enduring reminder of the important role that Nashville played during the troubled times that preceded the great changes that later occurred in the South and throughout the nation.

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