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February 10, 2015

Camden house where MLK once stayed could become civil rights headquarters

Neighborhoods Civil Rights
02102015_MLKCamden StreetView/for PhillyVoice

753 Walnut St. in Camden was listed on a criminal complaint Martin Luther King Jr. filed against the bartender in 1950 for refusing service.

A Moorestown, N.J. man is looking to transform a Camden property into a headquarters for civil rights information and activism after discovering it was once home to Martin Luther King Jr.

Patrick Duff learned of the house — 753 Walnut St. — from a criminal complaint King filed against a Maple Shade bartender after being refused service in 1950.

Duff then tracked down Jeanette Lilly Hunt, whose family owns the property. She confirmed that King had in fact lived there.

"To know the history that Martin Luther King actually lived here, studied here, and one of the greatest civil rights leaders in the world was formulated partially in this house, it bears the credence that if it’s not important, what is?" Duff told Newsworks.

Duff said there is a lot more research and work to be done, but he is hopeful the project will come together.

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