November 8, 1981 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Statue

     Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

*  On November 8, 1981, a crowd of about 700 gathered at City Hall to dedicate an 11-foot statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

*  A separate granite marker bearing a plaque with text entitled "The Dreamer" is installed nearby.

*  The memorial to Dr. King was initiated by Rev. Gertrude Wetzel about 10 years earlier when she formed the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Scholarship Fund to raise money for the statue.

*  The man who sculpted the statue was Mexican artist Julian Martinez Soto, who made world-class statues of Mexican movie stars, as well as President John F. Kennedy and Mexican revolutionist Emiliano Zapata.

*  It was said that the photographs Mr. Soto worked off of did not represent all of the proper angles so he rendered what he envisioned Dr. King's spirit to be.

*  Instead of a shirt cuff on Dr. King's right wrist, there is the remains of a slave shackle.

*  On King's left hand there is a wound to symbolize the sacrifice for the civil rights movement.