I was scrolling through the news wires at work and -- hey! -- there was a mention of my tiny hometown. I know I have more than one hometown, due to our moving around. But Simsbury, was where I attended junior and senior high school from ages 12-18. It was where I had my first boyfriend and my first job (aside from a earlier paper route, I guess). Everything Christmas, my family still get nostalgic for Simsbury, even though we left long ago.
And, for once, it was actually good news, not bad. What a relief, after an entire day of war and terror.
To any Americans out there, happy MLK day.
From AP, via NPR:
Martin Luther King Jr. could hardly believe his eyes when he left the segregated South as a teenage college student to work on a tobacco farm in Connecticut.
"On our way here we saw some things I had never anticipated to see," he wrote his father in June 1944. "After we passed Washington there was no discrimination at all. The white people here are very nice. We go to any place we want to and sit any where we want to."
The slain civil rights leader, whose birthday is observed Monday as a federal holiday, spent that summer working in a tobacco field in the Hartford suburb of Simsbury. That experience would influence his decision to become a minister and heighten his resentment of segregation.
"It's clear that this little town, it made a huge impact on his life," said John Conard-Malley, a Simsbury High School senior who did a documentary with other students on King's experiences in Connecticut. "It's possibly the biggest thing, one of the most important things, people don't know about Martin Luther King's life."