Dublin honors history of Martin Luther King Jr. with interactive monument park
DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first speech right here in Middle Georgia on April 17, 1944 at Dublin’s historic First African Baptist Church.
Residents of Dublin celebrated the anniversary on Monday with the reveal of the $250,000 monument park dedicated to King.
“It doesn’t just bring one group of people together it brings us all together,” said First A.B Church member Maurice Sizer.
King had a dream that started in Dublin at the tender age of 15.
“Not only did Dr. King speak here, but because of his speech and because of the rich history we have here at First A.B, we can call it the historic First African Baptist Church,” Sizer said.
73 years later, the Martin Luther King Monument Park honoring King’s dream is a reality.
“He gave that speech on April 17th in 1944 so today is April 17th 1944–73 years later we have the opportunity to pay homage to his legacy,” said Visit Dublin spokeswoman Rebecca McWilliam.
Now a piece of the legacy can be seen and heard by anyone who stops by the monument.
“There’s also an audio tour and a 71 site mobile app that’s dedicated to telling the story of historic downtown Dublin,” McWilliam added.
This is something Maurice Sizer says she’s been dreaming about for quite some time.
“It’s good for our children– so they can know the history because there will be (people) there talking about what they did in the civil rights movement–they can come and just push a button and get all of that history,” she said.
Dublin is where it all started. “The Dream began here with what he said about the Negro and the Constitution,” said Sizer.
But McWilliam says it won’t end there. “We’ve already had visitors drawn into this project from Mexico, Europe and Canada who didn’t know that Martin Luther King gave his first speech here and it’s really helped us discover more about Dublin.”
King’s world wide legacy and Dublin’s rich history meet at the new Martin Luther King Junior Monument Park.
The monument is located right across the street from the First A.B church. McWilliam says this is just the first phase of a community effort to honor Dublin’s place in history.