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MLK: The Lost Recording

A sermon recorded in 1965 by MLK to a Jewish congregation in Beverly Hills was broadcast on NPR. In 1965, a Rabbi named Max Nussbaum asked Martin Luther King Jr. to address his congregation at the Temple Israel in Hollywood. … Read More

By / January 16, 2007

A sermon recorded in 1965 by MLK to a Jewish congregation in Beverly Hills was broadcast on NPR.

In 1965, a Rabbi named Max Nussbaum asked Martin Luther King Jr. to address his congregation at the Temple Israel in Hollywood.

Nussbaum was not only active in the civil rights movement, but he also made his name as a rabbi in Berlin by using the pulpit to rail against the injustices of Nazi Germany.

King accepted Nussbaum's invitation, and his sermon was recorded onto an old-fashioned, reel-to-reel audiotape. The tape was then forgotten, lost in a pile of the rabbi's other audiotapes and papers.

The rabbi died, and his widow Ruth came upon the reel while sorting through his stuff more than a decade ago. She submitted it to the Temple library, where it sat again.

The Temple has just made the tape of the speech available to the public for the first time since 1965. Ruth Nussbaum, 95, tells the story of the speech.

To listen to the commentary, as well as the full sermon, go here. My father is rolling his eyes at me as you read this.

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