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More Than 1,000 Recreate MLK's March In Chicago, 50 Years Later

WBBM's Mike Krauser

(CBS) -- About 1,400 people on Saturday took part in a re-enactment of a fair-housing march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago in Marquette Park.

WBBM's Mike Krauser reports.

St. Sabina pastor Michael Pfleger had just finished his junior year in high school 50 years ago, and he was there when King got a hostile reception and was pelted with a stone.

"I'd heard about this Dr. King, and I'd heard about all this stuff going on, all summer in my neighborhood," Pfleger says. "Me and two of my friends, we rode our bikes over. We didn't tell our parents.

MLK Commemorative March
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., center, is among the demonstrators recreating the fair-housing march of Dr. Martin Luther King in Chicago in August 1966. (CBS/Mike Krauser)

"I'll never forget. We came down Western to 71st. And then riding down 71st, I had never seen or known that the Nazi headquarters was at 71st and Rockwell. I saw that and just saw the big swastika.

"Then we go into Marquette Park, the first thing is all the hate I saw. I was scared out of my mind. I never saw that kind of hate. People throwing things, trying to turn over cars, throwing rocks and bottles. People up in trees."

Pfleger says he went home and read everything he could written by Dr. King. It changed his life. But he says it's also sad that things haven't changed all that much 50 years later.

A commemorative sculpture about King's march was dedicated on Friday. 

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