Happy Birthday Candy Darling

Sheila take a bow

Today is the 66th, 68th or 70th birthday of Warhol superstar Candy Darling.  There is some speculation on her birth year, but no speculation on how fabulous she was.  You absolutely must watch Women in Revolt.  It is brilliant in it’s simplicity, its naive composition and it’s ground-breaking subject matter.  Candy only lived 29/31/33 years, but had an ongoing cultural impact by inspiring songs by The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, The Kinks and The Smiths.  That is so impressive.  The world is a better place because Candy was in it and still feels the loss that Candy has left.Candy Darling (November 24, 1944 – March 21, 1974) was an American actress, best known as a Warhol Superstar.  A male-to-female transsexual, she starred in Andy Warhol’s films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), and was a muse of the protopunk band The Velvet Underground.

Candy Darling was born James Lawrence Slattery in Forest Hills, Queens, son of Theresa Phelan, a bookkeeper at Manhattan’s Jockey Club, and James (Jim) Slattery, who was described as a violent alcoholic.  There is some conjecture around her year of birth.  According to former Warhol associate, Bob Colacello, Candy was born in 1946, while IMDb has listed her year of birth as 1948.  Her friend, roommate, and posthumous editor, Jeremiah Newton, states that she was born on November 24, 1944.

Her first assumed name was Hope Slattery.  According to Bob Colacello, Darling adopted this name sometime in 1963/1964 after she started going to gay bars in Manhattan and making visits to a doctor on Fifth Avenue for hormone injections.  Jackie Curtis stated that Candy adopted the name from a well-known Off-Off Broadway actress named Hope Stansbury, with whom she lived for a few months in an apartment behind the Caffe Cino so that she could study her. Holly Woodlawn remembers that Darling’s name evolved from Hope Dahl to Candy Dahl and then to Candy Cane. Jeremiah Newton believed she adopted her forename out of a love for sweets.  In her autobiography, Woodlawn recalled that Darling had adopted the name because a friend of hers affectionately called her “darling” so often that it finally stuck.

Before they met, in 1967, Darling saw Andy Warhol at the after-hours club called The Tenth of Always.  Candy was with Jackie Curtis, who invited Warhol to a play that she had written and directed, called Glamour, Glory and Gold, starring Darling, as “Nona Noonan”, and a young Robert De Niro, who played six parts in the play.  It was performed at Bastiano’s Cellar Studio on Waverly Place.  Taylor Mead brought Warhol to see it and afterwards went to the club Salvation in Sheridan Square, where he was joined by Candy and Curtis at his table.

Warhol cast Darling in a short comedic scene in Flesh (1968) with Jackie Curtis and Joe Dallesandro.  After Flesh, Candy was cast in a central role in Women In Revolt (1971).  She played a Long Island socialite, drawn into a woman’s liberation group called PIGS (Politically Involved Girls), by a character played by Curtis. Interrupted by cast disputes encouraged by Warhol, Women in Revolt took longer to film than its predecessor and went through several title changes before it was released.  Darling wanted it called Blonde on a Bum Trip since she was the blonde, while Curtis and Woodlawn told her it was more like “Bum on a Blonde Trip”, titles which were both used in the film during Candy’s interview scene.

Women in Revolt was first shown at the first Los Angeles Filmex as Sex.  Later it was shown as Andy Warhol’s Women, an homage to George Cukor.  Unable to get a distributor for the film, Warhol rented out the Cine Malibu on East 59th Street and launched the film with a celebrity preview on February 16, 1972.  After the screening there was a dinner in Candy’s honor at Le Parc Périgord restaurant, on Park Avenue, followed by a party at Francesco Scavullo’s townhouse, where they watched TV reviews of the movie, some of which called it “a rip-off”, and that it “looked as if it were filmed underwater,” and “proves once again that Andy Warhol has no talent.  But we knew that since the Campbell’s Soup cans.”

Among the guests at Darling’s party were D.D. Ryan, Sylvia Miles, George Plimpton, Halston, Giorgio di Sant ‘Angelo and Egon and Diane von Furstenberg.  Jackie Curtis stood out in the cold, along with other gate crashers.  When a security guard asked, “My God, what are they giving away in there?” one of the guests responded, “Would you believe, a transvestite?”

The day after the celebrity preview, a group of women wearing army jackets, pea coats, jeans and boots and carrying protest signs demonstrated outside the cinema against the film, which they thought was anti-women’s liberation.  When Darling heard about this, she said, “Who do these dykes think they are anyway?… Well, I just hope they all read Vincent Canby’s review in today’s Times.  He said I look like a cross between Kim Novak and Pat Nixon. It’s true – I do have Pat Nixon’s nose.”

Darling died of lymphoma on March 21, 1974, aged 29, at the Columbus Hospital division of the Cabrini Health Center.  In a letter written on her deathbed and intended for Andy Warhol and his followers, Darling said, “Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life . . . I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death.  (D)id you know I couldn’t last.  I always knew it.  I wish I could meet you all again.”

Her funeral was attended by huge crowds, including friends Pat Ast and Julie Newmar; a piano piece was played by Faith Dane; Gloria Swanson was remembered for saluting Darling’s coffin.

Darling is the subject of The Velvet Underground’s song “Candy Says” and was one of several Warhol associates mentioned in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”.

The Kinks’ song “Lola” was supposedly inspired by Candy Darling.

An image of her, taken from Women in Revolt, was also featured on the front cover of the 1987 single “Sheila Take a Bow” by the English group The Smiths. The last song on lead singer Morrissey’s solo album You Are the Quarry is called “You Know I Couldn’t Last,” a clear reference to her famous deathbed quote.

 

 

Happy Birthday Harpo Marx

Today is the 126th birthday of Harpo Marx.  We have all seen the brilliant mirror scene that he did with Lucile Ball when I Love Lucy went to Hollywood.  To think that it was almost 20 years after Animal Crackers and he was still at the top of his game.  The world is a better place because Harpo was in it and still feels the loss that Harpo has left.

NAME: Harpo Marx
OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Comedian
BIRTH DATE: November 23, 1888
DEATH DATE: September 28, 1964
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
Originally: Adolph Arthur Marx

Best Known For:  Harpo Marx was a talented comedian and mime best known for his performances as part of the Marx Brothers comedy act.

Comedian and actor Marx Harpo was born Adolph Arthur Marx on November 23, 1888, in New York City. The second oldest of five boys born to Samuel “Frenchie” Marx and Minnie Schoenberg Marx, Harpo was the only Jewish boy in his public school class and, after being bullied one too many times, dropped out at age 8.

Harpo and his brothers, Leonard (Chico), Julius (Groucho), Milton (Gummo) and Herbert (Zeppo), performed countless odd jobs while growing up to help support the family. Minnie, however, was bound and determined for her boys to become stars of the stage. In 1910, the Marx Brothers singing troupe was formed, which was originally dubbed the Four Nightingales. Minnie even leased a harp for the occasion for her second eldest, and hence his stage name was born.

In 1912, the Marx Brothers’ singing act devolved to madcap comedy, and the new show became the hallmark of their fame. Because Harpo couldn’t compete with the comedic wits of his brothers, his lines were taken away from him. Though insulted at first, he soon became a gifted mime, particularly in his use of facial expressions and a honking horn. He never spoke professionally again.

The Marx Brothers comedy act was wildly successful, and they eventually made their way to Broadway and in films, including Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers and Room Service. Harpo also traveled the world entertaining troops during World War II and made numerous television appearances.

Harpo married actress Susan Fleming in 1936. The couple adopted four children to whom Harpo was a devoted and loving father. He published his autobiography, Harpo Speaks, in 1961 and died three years later following complications from open-heart surgery.

 

 

Happy Birthday José Clemente Orozco

Today is the 131st birthday of the revolutionary Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco.  How can your not immediately love a muralist?  So much narrative, and the scale?  It required hours of appreciation.  You may not be at Dartmouth and have hours, but if you even have 23 minutes, the video below is well worth the time.  It will alter your view every so slightly and I guarantee you will not breeze by a mural without giving it at least a cursory inspection.

Name:  José Clemente Orozco
Occupation:  Illustrator, Painter
Birth Date:  November 23, 1883
Death Date:  September 7, 1949
EducationNational Preparatory School, Academy of San Carlos, School of Agriculture
Place of Birth:  Ciudad Guzman, Mexico
Place of DeathMexico City, Mexico

BEST KNOWN FOR:  José Clemente Orozco was a painter who helped lead the revival of Mexican mural painting in the 1920s. His works are complex and often tragic.

The life of José Clemente Orozco is a tale of tragedy, adversity and outstanding achievement. Born in Mexico in 1883, he was raised in Zapotlán el Grande, a small city in Mexico’s southwestern region of Jalisco. When he was still a young boy, Orozco’s parents moved to Mexico City in hopes of making a better life for their three children. His father, Ireneo, was a businessman, and his mother, Maria Rosa, worked as a homemaker and sometimes sang for extra income. Despite his parents’ efforts, they often lived on the edge of poverty. The Mexican Revolution was heating up, and being a highly sensitive child, Orozco began noticing the many hardships people around him faced. While walking to school, he witnessed the Mexican cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada working in an open shop window. Posada’s politically engaged paintings not only intrigued Orozco, but they also awakened his first understanding of art as a powerful expression of political revolt.

At age 15, Orozco left the city and traveled to the countryside. His parents sent him away in order to study agricultural engineering, a profession he had very little interest in pursuing. While at school, he contracted rheumatic fever. His father died of typhus soon after he returned home. Perhaps Orozco finally felt free to pursue his true passion, because almost immediately he began taking art classes at San Carlos Academy. To support his mother, he also worked small jobs, first as a draftsman for an architectural firm, and then later as a post-mortem painter, hand-coloring portraits of the dead.

Just around the time Orozco became certain about pursuing a career in art, tragedy struck. While mixing chemicals to make fireworks to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day in 1904, he created an accidental explosion that injured his left arm and wrist. Due to the national festivities, a doctor did not see him for several days. By the time he was seen, gangrene had taken over and it was necessary to amputate his entire left hand. As he healed, the Mexican Revolution was eminent in everyone’s minds, and the personal suffering Orozco experienced was mirrored in the growing political strife happening all around him.

For the next several years, Orozco scraped by, working for a time as a caricaturist for an independent, oppositional newspaper. Even after he finally landed his first solo exhibition, titled “The House of Tears,” a glimpse at the lives of the women working in the city’s red-light district, Orozco found himself painting Kewpie dolls to pay the rent. Given his own struggles, it’s not surprising that his paintings teemed with social complexities. In 1922, Orozco began creating murals. The original impetus for this work was an innovative literacy campaign put in place by Mexico’s new revolutionary government. The idea was to paint murals on public buildings as a method for broadcasting their campaign messages. He did this for only a short time, but the medium of mural painting stuck. Orozco eventually became known as one of the three “Mexican Muralists.” The other two were his contemporaries, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over time, Orozco’s work was uniquely recognized and set apart from Rivera’s and Siqueiros’ for its intensity and focus on human suffering. His vast scenes illustrated the lives and struggles of peasants and working-class folk.

Orozco married Margarita Valladares in 1923, and they had three children. In 1927, after years of working as an underappreciated artist in Mexico, Orozco left his family and moved to the United States. He spent a total of 10 years in America, during which time he witnessed the financial crash of 1929. His first mural in the United States was created for Pomona College in Claremont, California. He also devised massive works for the New School for Social Research, Dartmouth College and the Museum of Modern Art. One of his most famous murals is The Epic of American Civilization, housed in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. It took two years to complete, is composed of 24 panels and is nearly 3,200 square feet.

In 1934, Orozco returned to his wife and country. Now established and highly respected, he was invited to paint in the Government Palace in Guadalajara. The main fresco found in its vaulted ceilings is titled The People and Its Leaders. Orozco, now in his mid-fifties, then painted what would become considered a masterpiece, the frescos found inside Guadalajara’s Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest hospital complexes in Latin America. The work, which became known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas,” is a panorama of Mexico’s history, from pre-Hispanic times, including scenes of early Indian civilizations, through the Mexican Revolution, which he depicts as a society engulfed in flames. In 1940, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City commissioned him to create the centerpiece for its exhibition “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art.” His contributions included Dive Bomber and Tank, both commentaries on the impending Second World War.

Around this time, Orozco met Gloria Campobello, the prima ballerina for the Mexico City Ballet. Within three years, he left his wife Margarita to live with Gloria in New York City. The affair, however, ended almost as quickly as it started. In 1946, Campobello left him, and Orozco returned to Mexico to live alone. In 1947, the American author John Steinbeck asked Orozco to illustrate his book The Pearl. A year later, Orozco was asked to paint his only outdoor mural, Allegory of the Nation, at Mexico’s National Teachers College. The work was photographed and featured in Life magazine.

In the fall of 1949, Orozco completed his last fresco. On September 7, he died in his sleep of heart failure at the age of 65. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was hailed as a master of the human condition, an artist bold enough to cut through the lies a nation tells its people. As Orozco insisted, “Painting…it persuades the heart.”

Happy Birthday Doris Duke

Today is Doris Duke’s 102nd birthday.  She was in the newspapers from the day she was born, her every move chronicled and scrutinized.  Her art collection, the house she built in Hawaii, her love life, she did everything large. If Susan Sarandon and Lauren Bacall star in movies about your life, you are doing something right.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Doris Duke
OCCUPATION: Art Collector, Philanthropist
BIRTH DATE: November 22, 1912
DEATH DATE: October 28, 1993
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Tobacco heiress Doris Duke was the only child of American tobacco baron, James Duke. When she was born, the press called her the “million dollar baby.”

Doris Duke (November 22, 1912 – October 28, 1993) was an American heiress, horticulturalist, art collector, and philanthropist.

Duke was the only child of tobacco and electric energy tycoon James Buchanan Duke and his second wife, Nanaline Holt Inman, widow of Dr. William Patterson Inman. At his death in 1925, the elder Duke’s will bequeathed the majority of his estate to his wife and daughter,[3] along with $17,000,000, in two separate clauses of the will, to The Duke Endowment he had created in 1924. The total value of the estate was not disclosed, but was estimated variously at $60,000,000 and $100,000,000.

Duke spent her early childhood at Duke Farms, her father’s 3,000-acre (12 km2) estate in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. Due to ambiguity in James Duke’s will, a lawsuit was filed to prevent auctions and outright sales of real estate he had owned; in effect, Doris Duke successfully sued her mother and other executors to prevent the sales. One of the pieces of real estate in question was a Manhattan mansion at 1 East 78th Street which later became the home of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

She was presented to society as a debutante in 1930, aged 18, at a ball at Rough Point, the family residence in Newport, Rhode Island. She received large bequests from her father’s will when she turned 21, 25, and 30; she was sometimes referred to as the “world’s richest girl”. Her mother died in 1962, leaving her jewelry and a coat.

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Bridger Anderson

On Tuesday, my aunt Carolyn died.  She always had so much to do and say, always completing projects.  Her professional and artistic friends reach around the world.  She was one of the most intelligent people I have ever met.  The world is a better place because she was in it and is feeling the loss now that she has left.

Pianist Carolyn Bridger, who was the principal keyboardist with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and a former faculty member at the Florida State College of Music, died in an auto accident near Traverse City, Mich., on Tuesday morning. She was 71.

“Carolyn was beloved by her colleagues and many, many students,” TSO executive director Amanda Stringer said in an email. “A fantastic pianist, she played in the TSO over 30 years and performed throughout the country in many different capacities. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all others who loved and knew her.”

Bridger, who created the collaborative piano (or accompanying) program at FSU, was a founding member of the TSO in the early ’80s with conductor Nicholas Harsanyi.

“As a player, she was solid as a rock,” Stringer said. “We will miss her presence on stage.”

The Traverse City Record-Eagle is reporting Bridger was in Michigan, where she owns a home in Interlochen, to attend a funeral. She and other family members were returning from the airport in Traverse City when a Brimley, Mich., man crossed the central median and struck their car around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Bridger was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver and two other passengers in Bridger’s car were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Record-Eagle is reporting the man who caused the wreck was arrested on charges of “driving while license suspended causing death” and two other license-related charges. A Traverse City Sheriff’s Office deputy said that all drivers and passengers were wearing their seat belts at the time of impact. Deputies are still investigating the exact cause of the fatal crash on the icy roadway.

The sudden death was a major loss for Tallahassee‘s classical-music community. It left friends and colleagues reeling.

“She was tireless, she never ran out of energy,” said violinist Karen Clarke, a former concert master for the TSO and a professor emerita from the FSU College of Music. “She contributed so much to Tallahassee.”

In the early ’90s, Bridger played a supporting role in founding The Artist Series along with her husband, Waldie Anderson, who died in 2011. The Artist Series made its debut in 1995 with performances by the Eroica Trio and Rockapella.

In 1994, Anderson and Bridger rallied a group of non-professional musicians to form the Big Bend Community Orchestra.

“She was such an inspiration to so many students and she and Waldie were indefatigable music ambassadors,” former TSO executive director Lois Griffin said in an email.

The upbeat, quick-to-smile Bridger was as busy as ever this fall on stages around Tallahassee. In October, she performed as the accompanist with cello player Evgeni Raychev at a recital hall at FSU and, in September, she was featured in the Tallahassee Ballet’s annual “An Evening of Music and Dance” in Opperman Music Hall.

She was booked to accompany on piano for the Tallahassee Music Guild’s annual “Sing-Along Messiah” concert on Dec. 2 at Faith Presbyterian Church. Her Florida State College of Music colleague, pianist Timothy Hoekman, has been tapped as her replacement.

“Carolyn’s musical fingerprint is on almost everything in Tallahassee,” Florida State Opera conductor Douglas Fisher said in an email. “She played countless performances of recitals, chamber music, symphony engagements, public service events and more.”

When it came to range, the versatile Bridger could play everything from Baroque chamber music to cutting-edge material at the Festival of New Music. Her focus was as an accompanist, which meant she could fit in with nearly any kind of music or performer.

“How many famous accompanists are there out there?” former Florida State College of Music associate dean and oboist George Riordan said. “By nature, she was always in the background and making things happen. She ran the accompanying program (at FSU) and taught students how to play with singers, soloists, any type of musician. Her absolute devotion to her students was endless, not only when they students but also after they went out into the world.”

Bridger joined the FSU faculty in 1976 and retired in 2010. During her tenure, she became the resident director of the FSU Study-Abroad Summer Program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Bridger played concerts all around the world, ranging from Malaysia to the Dalmatian Islands to Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.

A graduate of Oberlin College & Conservatory, Indiana University and the University of Iowa, Bridger also studied at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. She won the the prestigious Schubert Prize for Accompanying in Austria. The pianist also had close ties with Interlochen Arts Camp, which is located just a few miles south of Traverse City.

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Patricia Lu Mallet Anderson Banghart

My aunt Pat died on Sunday.  She was very kind to me my first summer at Interlochen Arts Camp.  She worked in the Academic Library and I spent a lot of time in the library reading back issues of art magazines and Aldous Huxley novels.  I really appreciated a friendly face, I felt so alone that summer.  The world is a better place because she was in it and will feel the loss now that she has left.

Partricia Lu Banghart, 82, of Interlochen passed away November 16, 2014 at the Grand Traverse Pavilions.

Patty was born on November 14, 1932 in North Muskegon to the late Henry and Frances (Reed) Mallett.

In 1980, Patty married Edward Philip Banghart at All Saints Lutheran Church in Traverse City. Ed preceded Patty in death in 2013.

Patty earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan. Her career brought her to Interlochen where she taught for Traverse City Public Schools and was a member of the Michigan Music Teachers Association. Patty enjoyed teaching students how to play the piano. Patty also spent decades on staff at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church where she was active in the choir. Patty also enjoyed nature and loved to be outdoors.

Patty is survived by her son Reed (Diana) Anderson of Sylvania, OH, son Paul (Cheryl) Anderson of Los Alamos, NM, step-daughter Dawn Banghart of Woodside, CA, step-son Thomas Banghart of West Hollywood, CA, and grandsons Max and Ian Anderson of Sylvania, OH.

Patty was preceded in death by her son Erik Alfred Anderson.

A memorial service celebrating Patty’s life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions in memory of Patty may be directed to Interlochen Center for the Arts (P.O. Box 199, Interlochen, MI 49643) or to the Grand Traverse Pavilions (Elm: 1000 Pavilions Circle, Traverse City, MI 49684).

Happy Birthday Robert F. Kennedy

Today is the birthday of Robert Kennedy.  His Indianapolis speech is one of the most important speeches of the 20th century.  Celebrate his life today by reading or listening to it.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

Name:  Robert Kennedy
Occupation:  Government Official
Birth Date:  November 20, 1925
Death Date:  June 6, 1968
EducationUniversity of Virginia Law School, Harvard University
Place of Birth:  Brookline, Massachusetts
Place of Death:  Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Robert Kennedy was Attorney General during his brother JFK’s administration. He later served as a U.S. Senator and was assassinated during his run for the presidency.

Robert F. Kennedy’s speech on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. was given on April 4, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kennedy, the United States senator from New York, was campaigning to earn the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination when he learned of King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. Earlier that day Kennedy had spoken at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Before boarding a plane to attend campaign rallies in Indianapolis, Kennedy learned that King had been shot. When he arrived, Kennedy was informed that King had died. Despite fears of riots and concerns for his safety, Kennedy went ahead with plans to attend a rally at 17th and Broadway in the heart of Indianapolis’s African-American ghetto. That evening Kennedy addressed the crowd, many of whom had not heard about King’s assassination. Instead of the rousing campaign speech they expected, Kennedy offered brief, impassioned remarks for peace that is considered to be one of the great public addresses of the modern era.

Kennedy was the first to publicly inform the audience of King’s assassination, causing members of the audience to scream and wail in disbelief.  Several of Kennedy’s aides were worried that the delivery of this information would result in a riot. Once the audience quieted down, Kennedy spoke of the threat of disillusion and divisiveness at King’s death and reminded the audience of King’s efforts to “replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.”  Kennedy acknowledged that many in the audience would be filled with anger, especially since the assassin was believed to be a white man. He empathized with the audience by referring to the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, by a white man. The remarks surprised Kennedy aides, who had never heard him speak of his brother’s death in public.  Quoting the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus, whom he had discovered through his brother’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, Kennedy said, “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”  Kennedy then delivered one of his most well-remembered remarks: “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black. To conclude, Kennedy reiterated his belief that the country needed and wanted unity between blacks and whites and encouraged the country to “dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and to make gentle the life of this world.”  He finished by asking the audience members to pray for “our country and our people.”  Rather than exploding in anger at the tragic news of King’s death, the crowd dispersed quietly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening, because I have some — some very sad news for all of you — Could you lower those signs, please? — I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to fill with — be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poem, my — my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King — yeah, it’s true — but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love — a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, but we — and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it’s not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Thank you very much.

Despite rioting in other major American cities, Indianapolis remained calm that night after Kennedy’s remarks, which is believed to have been in part because of the speech.  In stark contrast to Indianapolis, riots erupted in more than one hundred U.S. cities including Chicago, New York City, Boston, Detroit, Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, killing 35 and injuring more than 2,500. Across the country, approximately seventy thousand army and National Guard troops were called out to restore order.

Two months later, Robert Kennedy was shot while exiting the ballroom through kitchen of The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  He died early the next morning

The speech itself has been listed as one of the greatest in American history, ranked 17th by communications scholars in a survey of 20th century American speeches.