Gets St. Peter’s Honorary Degree
More Demonstrations Ahead, Dr. King Says

The Jersey Journal
Thursday, September 23, 1965

Civil rights workers are planning more demonstrations for the South and a pilot project in Chicago to advance the status of Northern Negroes, Dr. Martin Luther King announced during an appearance in Jersey City.

King came to Jersey City to receive an honorary doctor of law degree from St. Peter’s College, the first from a Catholic University, according to a St. Peter’s spokesman. The Nobel Peace Prize winner cast aside threats of a bomb to address about 700 college seniors and invited guests crowded into Dineen Auditorium

Several hundred more persons lined the streets outside to listen to his speech at the Michaelmas Convocation over loudspeakers. Members of the Jersey City police, FBI agents and officers of the college’s ROTC units kept tight security over those entering the building.

King said that during his travels in Northern cities he has not seen the “massive programs” that will do “dramatically the things necessary to give Negroes a sense of somebodiness.”

“Legislation has made strides in the South, but it has not penetrated the needs of Negroes living in the ghettos of the North,” he added.

He did not elaborate about what specific steps would be taken in Chicago, but he did day there would be “massive” demonstrations in the South – especially in Natchez, Miss. – to call the nation’s attention to the “brutality and injustice” still in existence there.

At the beginning of the program, King was informed that a telephone caller had warned there was a bomb in the auditorium. He insisted on going ahead with his talk, and police searched the area without knowledge of the audience. They found no bomb.

In conferring the honorary law degree, Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, newly installed president of the college, said to King; “We are proud to call you an alumnus of the college and brother.”

After a standing ovation and enthusiastic applause, the civil rights leader said he was honored to receive the degree. “. . . When a Catholic institution confers an honorary degree upon a man ? ? ?

? ? ? munist training school to those entering the college campus.

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