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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Huntington resident Dean Beery holds a letter, kept safe in a bank deposit box, written to him by Martin Luther King Jr.

King offered author lifetime of inspiration

While attending the 1963 March on Washington, Manchester College student Dean Beery heard Martin Luther King Jr. deliver the speech forever linked with the civil rights leader’s name. He later joined protest marches led by King in Chicago.

Now retired after a 34-year career as an elementary school teacher in Huntington County, Beery, 72, keeps a letter from King secure in a safe deposit box.

“Your mention of reading ‘Stride Toward Freedom’ and predicting that generations to come will consider me a ‘second Gandhi’ is most humbling,” King wrote in response to a letter from Beery.

“Our struggle is often difficult and the moments are frustrating, but we gain new courage to carry on when we realize that persons of good will, such as yourself, are supporting us in the background. Although the days are now dark, I am convinced that we stand on the threshold of our nation’s bright tomorrows.”

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