Now this is cool. The Jewish Journal has turned up and posted on its website an audio recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King giving a sermon on Feb. 26, 1965 at Temple Israel in Hollywood. Never before heard, as they say — at least not unless you were there. "I consider you real friends of our struggle," King said in his opening remarks, which included a brief pitch for financial support. You can listen to the whole thing — and get an emotional sense of those times — at the link. For Martin Luther King Day, the synagogue will play the tape at a special service on Jan. 12 that will feature The Word Center Church Gospel Singers.
* Added via Proquest: King was 36 years old at the time. Selma was heating up that month, and Malcolm X had just been killed in New York, so King arrived in Los Angeles under heavy guard. It was his first trip west since winning the Nobel Peace Prize. King dined with prominent Westsiders at the Beverly Hills home of Dr. Irving Lichtenstein and attended a screening of The Greatest Story Ever Told at the Cinerama Dome (now the Arclight.) The theater crawled with police because of death threats and the seizure of stolen dynamite connected to a racist group. King also spoke at the World Affairs Council at the Hollywood Palladium. The Times reported that an "overflow crowd" of 1,500 at the temple gave King a warm welcome. That Sunday he returned to Selma.
Also in this week's JJ: LA Observed contributor Bill Boyarsky argues for a Latino-Jewish coalition over good schools, plus video of Bill Clinton singing "Imagine" with a choir of Israeli and Arab youth.
Photo: Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles