The Legislature has paused from debating current day matters to mark 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the Massachusetts State House.
Lawmakers gathered on Monday to commemorate King's April 1965 speech. They were joined at the event by several surviving members of the 1965 Legislature and by the Rev. Michael Haynes, a former lawmaker who was a friend of King's from the civil rights leader's graduate school days at Boston University.
Also attending was Gov. Charlie Baker, who said he read the speech and was struck by King's optimistic view that America would someday solve its racial divide. Baker said if King were alive today, he'd conclude the country has come far but still had a long way to go.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said King's address "changed perspectives" in Massachusetts.
This article was originally published on April 27, 2015.