A brilliant orator, a fierce ally of justice, and, finally, a martyr, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. worked tirelessly for the rights and freedom of millions. His dynamism shines in these 16 striking photographs of King sprinting through Times Square in New York City.


1. Okay, so Martin Luther King Jr.’s life was well-documented, but there is actually no public record of him ever sprinting through Times Square.

Via BET

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2. King visited New York many times and gave speeches there. If at any point he ran at full speed through Times Square, though, no cameraman was on hand to capture it.

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3. The King Center’s extensive digital archive of documents and photos from MLK’s life unfortunately contains no images of him sprinting through Times Square.

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4. This headline promises several images of MLK sprinting through Times Square, but look, if it never happened, we obviously can’t show it.

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5. Martin Luther King may have sprinted at different times in his life, but never down Broadway during the civil rights movement.

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6. Plenty of people have sprinted through Times Square, but to the best of our knowledge they do not include Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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7. King transformed and transcended racial politics. Was he also a runner? Did he run in Times Square, the beating heart of New York?

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8. “If you can’t fly, then run;
if you can’t run, then walk;
if you can’t walk, then crawl;
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.”
—Martin Luther King Jr., April 13, 1956

Via Travelingfit.com

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9. Here is Martin Luther King marching at a normal pace during a rally.

Via Georgiaencyclopedia.org

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10. King’s well-known and celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech was broadcast in Times Square on its 50th anniversary in 2013. None of the attendees were sprinting, nor was King sprinting when he delivered the original speech from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Youtube via QueenBethAnne

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11. Martin Luther King wasn’t particularly known for exercising. Besides, Times Square’s dense crowds have always made it less than an ideal place to run.

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12. None of these people running on Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King Boulevard are the reverend himself, nor are they in Times Square, New York.

Via Philly.com

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13. This is two separate images—one of MLK and one of a man sprinting—so it doesn’t exactly fit the bill.

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14. For an embattled nation, his was the face of hope, regardless of whether he was bolting across the pavement in downtown NYC.

Via liberalamerica.org

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15. As disappointing as it is that there are no pictures of Dr. King sprinting through Times Square, this should in no way diminish his legacy.

Via ABC

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16. It’s been more than 45 years since his death, but his spirit is still alive.

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