Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election

Tuesday July 20

5:30 PM  –  6:30 PM

Stephen Kendrick in conversation with Larry Tye

Less than three weeks before the 1960 presidential election, thirty-one-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested at a sit-in in Atlanta. While King’s imprisonment was decried as a moral scandal in some quarters and celebrated in others, for the two presidential candidates―John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon―it was the ultimate October surprise: an emerging civil rights leader was languishing behind bars, and the two campaigns raced to decide whether, and how, to respond. Nine Days is the first full recounting of an event that changed the course of one of the closest elections in American history. At once a story of electoral machinations, moral courage, and, ultimately, the triumph of a future president’s better angels, Nine Days is a gripping tale with important lessons for our own time.

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