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Martin Luther King and the Adelphi

Just speech-write will yer! Claims over 1963 visit sparks row

Published on April 7th 2011.

Martin Luther King and the Adelphi

A LIVERPOOL art event is standing by claims that Martin Luther King wrote one of the most famous speeches in the world in one of the city’s hotels.

‘I just don't believe it to be true. If he had gone to Liverpool there would have been substantial coverage, as he would have been a big figure by then.’

A guide book for Liverpool Discovers, commissioned by the city council, claims the civil rights leader visited the Adelphi Hotel and wrote a draft of his 1963 ‘I have a dream...’ missive.

A map highlighting 20 places where famous people were born, lived or visited in the city says: "Martin Luther King visited his supporters in Liverpool three times, and the first draft of his famous 'I have a dream' speech was written on Adelphi Hotel headed notepaper."

But local historians and even King’s biographer, Godfrey Hodgson, says the claim is a big fat fake.

"I just don't believe it to be true,” he said. “If he had gone to Liverpool there would have been substantial coverage, as he would have been a big figure by then.

"Dr King did visit the UK on a number of occasions but he was not in Britain around the time of this famous speech in 1963."

Liverpool Discovers is sticking to its guns however, argued the facts were not ‘official’ and said that despite the lack of expert knowledge about King’s visit, it could still be true.

"All of the facts we have came from a public consultation where we asked people to submit what they knew about Liverpool,” said a spokesman.

“They are not official, they are just things about Liverpool that many people may not know.

"As you will appreciate it is sometimes difficult to prove historical facts, and we have run the map by local historians to best verify what appeared.

"Although biographers such as those associated with Martin Luther King may not be aware of such a fact, with all due respect to them, that in itself does not prove it to be untrue.

"Many cities reference stories about their history that cannot be absolutely proven - and in this case the word 'alleged' informs the reader that the fact is not set in stone."

A lot of strange things have happened in the Adelphi. Confidential once ordered some pastries in there and was brought a plate of bourbon biscuits and asked to cough up £9. But Martin Luther King? They must be dreaming...

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

steve14598April 5th 2011.

sounds like the sort of crap you'd read in the Kensington and fairfield voice

TourmanApril 5th 2011.

Mr King may have written his speech in the Adelphi, but not the Liverpool Adelphi. Had he done so there would be a statue of him outside and it would be a major tourist destination, it is not, so I think some-one needs to own up and say "I have a nightmare"

AL E. LULIAApril 5th 2011.

I have a dream...that one day Liverpudlians won't feel they have to keep Making Stuff Up to feel good about themselves.

Hopalong CassidyApril 5th 2011.

Roy Rogers stayed at The Adelphi with his horse Trigger.

Of course it was a proper posh hotel in those days.

Rusty SpikeApril 5th 2011.

Well, Martin Luther King might well not have sashayed around the grand lounge but give the joint a break; Lord Snowdon - who did know a choice thing or two about kings, queens and the doings of royalty, so to speak - once stayed at the Adelphi and was spied supping pints of Guinness which he used to wash down the chicken pie and chips he had ordered for his tea in the restaurant. Mind you, he left most of the pie and a passing waiter grabbed a handful of chips off the plate with a gurgling Scouse chortle - unaware one hopes of the distinguished guest's pedigree. On reflection it might have been a 'Chum and Chips' pie. And apart from that Roy Rogers fellow with his fancy white buckskins and blood curdling yodel, that other great warbler Ronnie Ronalde - who chirruped like a chaffinch to Trigger on the Empire stage as part of a bizarre variety show that featured them all - was seen a few times 'whistling' down the Adelphi corridors. Oh, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the very Pope himself popped in for a lager shandy during his blessed visit to Liverpool in 1980. And so on....so there.

ProfApril 5th 2011.

When Hitler was living in Upper Stanhope Street and he was skint, he was always popping into the KFC on Aigburth Road, where my aunty worked, asking for any odd bits of batter.

He tried to get into art college with John Lennon but was rejected after submitting too many drawings that were nothing more than a design for a "Volkswagon" John Lennon said Hitler inspired the Beetles.

He even became a regular at the famous underground Cavern until it was blown up by the Red Army and he sold the Echo at the Pier Head.

The Voice of Liverpool for a thousand years, he claimed. (This was of course long before the famous Sandy claimed that pitch for himself.

Dine to the sound of the KopApril 5th 2011.

If it had been written at the Adelphi it would be "Just dream will yer"

Prof ChucklebuttyApril 6th 2011.

Damn and blast! They have now apologised for misleading people over this claim! What am I supposed to do now? I have rented a market stall to sell the 5 thousand souvenir mugs I ordered. My own design too! Martin Luther King Kenny. Yes, him and Kenny Dalglish, both holding an LFC scarf aloft bearing the legend,


I mean obviously Dr King was also a Liverpool fan, well he had a season ticket! I hear they are going to put in on show in the new Museum of Liverpool Lies…..Life I mean.

Private DickApril 11th 2011.

Is there going to be a Peronigate Gallery in this new museum, Professor?

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