1For purposes of this study, "Civil Rights Movement" refers to the campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s; organized activity on behalf of black civil rights dates at least to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
2The 1980 legislation (Public Law 96-428) creating the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site authorized a 23.78-acre park roughly bounded by Jackson Street on the west, Old Wheat Street on the north, Howell Street on the east, and the rear property lines on the south side of Edgewood Avenue. The Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992, enacted October 30, 1992, expanded the park boundaries to include properties lying between Jackson Street and Boulevard north to Cain Street.
5Two National Register districts, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Historic District and the Sweet Auburn Historic District, were established in the 1970s and commemorate King and the historic Atlanta east-side black community. The Martin Luther King, Jr., Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The 1980 Martin Luther King, Jr., Preservation District, established by the Site's enabling legislation, includes all property listed in the 1974 historic district. The Sweet Auburn Historic District was made a National Historic Landmark in 1976. In addition, the city of Atlanta, through the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, established the Martin Luther King, Jr., Landmark District in 1989, consolidating two existing city preservation districts. Most of these districts overlap within the Site, providing protection through federal programs and local zoning ordinances.
6"Georgia Historic Resources Survey Manual" (Atlanta: Historic Preservation Section, Parks and Historic Sites Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, n.d.), 38-39; History and Prehistory in the National Park System and the National Historic Landmarks Program (Washington, D.C. : National ark Service, 1987), 1-16, 1-20, 1-21.
9C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 3d rev. ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), 33, 44, 97; John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, 6th ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988), 231-37.
12Andy Ambrose, Vincent Fort, Alexa Henderson, Dean Rowley, Carole Stevens, and Barbara Tagger, Historic Resource Study, Auburn Avenue Community of Atlanta, 1865-1930 (Draft) (Atlanta, n.d.), Part I, 3-5.
13Ambrose, et. al., Part I, 3-1 - 3-12; John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, 3d ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), 336-37; Horace C. Wingo, "Race Relations in Georgia, 1872-1908," (Ph.D. diss., University of Georgia, 1969), 72-90.
23Ambrose, et al., Part II, 1-9 - 1-10. In 1937, black businesses on Auburn Avenue included: Atlanta Life Insurance Co., 148 Auburn; Citizens Trust Company, 212 Auburn; Pioneer Savings Association, 160 Auburn; Afro-American Life Insurance Company, 241 Auburn; the Atlanta Daily World, 210 Auburn; Hopkins Book and Furniture Store, 141 Auburn; Aiken, Inc., contractors and builders; Blayton, Adair and Co., accountants; Haugabrooks Funeral Home, 368 Auburn; and The Top Hat Club (later the Royal Peacock), 184-186 Auburn (National Negro Business League, 1937 Directory and Souvenir Program).
31Malinda King O'Neal, ed., Ebenezer, A Centennial Time Capsule. 1886-1986 (Atlanta: Ebenezer Baptist Church, n.d.), 3-7; Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986), 20; Oates, 6-10: Ambrose, et al., Part II, 9-37.
35A more detailed account of King's civil rights activities can be found in Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963 by Taylor Branch, To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. by Adam Fairclough, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David J. Garrow, and Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Stephen B. Oates.
65Tom Greene, "Negro Chiefs Back Strike at Scripto, Atlanta Journal, Nov. 30, 1964; James Walker, SCLC Joins in Scripto Walkout," Atlanta Journal, Dec. 2, 1964; Scripto, Union to Talk Anew," Atlanta Daily World, Dec. 13, 1964; Paul Troop and Ann Woolner, Scripto Moves Plant to Suburbs," Atlanta Journal, Dec. 20, 1977; Atlanta building permit files at Atlanta Historical Society.
66Dr. King was away from Atlanta for two weeks during the early part of the strike. King left Atlanta December 4 to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, stopping in London on the way, and in New York and Washington, D.C., on his return trip (Oates, 310-13).
67Walker; Greene; Troop and Woolner; "'Breadbasket' Asks Boycott of Scripto, Atlanta Journal, Dec. 10, 1964; "King Addresses Group Today on Current Strike," Atlanta Daily World, Dec. 1, 1964; "Strikers Meet Tuesday; Hear Pledge of Support," Atlanta Daily World, Dec. 2, 1964; Remer Tyson, "Union's Bias Charge False, Scripto Says," Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 23, 1964.
68Research to date has not indicated exactly where King walked the picket line on December 19. Newspaper accounts from other days, when King was not picketing, indicate that the area around Boulevard and Irwin was the focus of picketing. A large parking lot for Scripto employees was located on the north side of Irwin and would have been a logical site for pickets seeking to keep workers from breaking the strike. One article indicates that on some days, all buildings of the Scripto complex were picketed (Walker; Scripto, Union Meeting Today," Atlanta Daily World, Dec. 3, 1964; "Bargaining Session to Be Held by Scripto and Union," Atlanta Daily World, Dec. 20, 1964).
69Walker; Greene; Troop and Woolner; Tyson; "'Breadbasket' Asks Boycott of Scripto, Atlanta Journal, Dec. 10, 1964; "King Pickets Scripto Plant 30 Minutes," Atlanta Journal, Dec. 20, 1964; G. S. Carlson, "Must Fight for Better Jobs, King Tells 250 Scripto Strikers," Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 21, 1964; "Christmas Bonus Paid, Strikers Suspend Boycott of Scripto, Atlanta Daily World, Dec. 25, 1964; Scripto Gives 900 Pay Hike," Atlanta Journal, Jan. 20, 1965.
70King did not participate in the March 7 demonstration, but two days later he led 2,000 marchers to the Pettus Bridge, where a confrontation was avoided by King's decision not to move beyond the bridge (Garrow, 371-404).
80Abernathy, 465; Bruce Keys, King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, telephone conversation, October 1, 1992; Bond & Ryder and Associates, "Project Summary, Martin Luther King Center for Social Change, Atlanta, Georgia," n.d.
86The significance of the grave site was confirmed by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places in a memorandum to the Chief, Cultural Resources Planning Division, SERO, February 22, 1993.
87All of the following information on area development and change, including building construction dates and the evolving racial composition of the area, is culled from several resources. Sanborn Maps available at Georgia State University for 1899, 1911, 1920, 1923, and 1932 were consulted. Files at the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site contain information obtained primarily from Atlanta City Directories and building permits. Several area studies of the Birth-Home block landscape both historic and contemporary were consulted, including a 1937 Cadastral Survey by the Works Projects Administration. Historic aerial photographs for 1936 and 1949 were perused. In addition, a 1928 City Engineer's Topographic Map of the area was consulted.
93Deed Book 177, Page 370 between A. Tittlebaum and Empire State Investment Company; Deed Book 194, Page 78 between W.A. Foster and Empire State Investment Company, Fulton County Courthouse, Clerk of Court, Atlanta, Georgia. City directory entries demonstrate that by 1910, these houses were occupied by blacks.
101Atlanta City Council Minutes, 1920-1940, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, Georgia; Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site Cultural Landscape Report: The Birth-Home Block (Atlanta: National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office, unpublished draft, 1993), 18-19.
104Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1987), 158,601; Virginia and Lee McAlester, A Field Guide to American Houses (New York: Knopf, 1984), 211-12.
105McAlester and McAlester, 211-12; John J.-G. Blumenson, Identifying American Architecture: A Pictorial Guide to the Styles. 2d ed. (Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1981), 37.
106Georgia's Living Places: Historic Houses in Their Landscaped Settings (Atlanta: Historic Preservation Section, Division of Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1991), 1-26.
109McAlester and McAlester, 263-68; Mary Mix Foley, The American House (New York: Harper & Row, 1980), 175-76; Carole Rifkind, A Field Guide to American Architecture (New York: New American Library, 1980), 63-65.
110"Historic Structure Report: The Martin Luther King Birth Home, Martin Luther King. Jr., National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia (Draft)" (Denver: Denver Service Center, National Park Service), Historical Data Section, 7.
112Roulhac Toledano, Sally Kittredge Evans, and Mary Louise Christovich, "Types and Styles," in New Orleans Architecture, vol. IV (Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, 1974), 71-72; John Michael Vlach, "The Shotgun House: An African Architectural Legacy," in Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture, ed. Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986), 58-77; McAlester and McAlester, 90.
116The three-story second Grant Building of 1876, located at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets, and the five-story Moore-Marsh Building of 1881, located at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Pryor Street, combined elements of Italianate design with High Victorian Gothic decorative motifs. Both buildings have been demolished.
119William H. Pierson, Jr., Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles, vol. 2 of American Buildings and Their Architects (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 100.
Last Updated: 26-Oct-2002