The Rev. Martin Luther King may speak at a memorial service for the three civil rights workers killed in Mississippi, to be held in Memorial Church tomorrow at 2 p.m.
King will be in Boston to address the Massachusetts delegation to the Democratic Convention, which is meeting tomorrow to decide whether or not to endorse the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's bid to unseat the regular Mississippi delegation.
The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m., and King is expected to be free in time for the service, according to William Crout, assistant in the Memorial Church Mrs. Rita Schwerner, the wife of one of the three workers, will be accompanying King, and may also attend the service, Crout said.
The service is being sponsored by the United Ministry of Harvard and Radcliffe. It is believed to be the first such service held in memory of a person not connected with Harvard and not of international prominence.
Services were held after the deaths of both Jawaharal Nehru and Dag Hammarskjold. Hammarskjold had, however, previously received an honorary degree from the University.
The service does not constitute any official University recognition of the civil rights movement, nor does it indicate official approval of what the three men had been doing, according to various University spokesmen.
"I think the reason for having the service is pretty obvious," said the Rev. R. Jerrold Gibson, of the Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church and the United Ministry. "A lot of people are concerned about what these people were doing, and what their death means."
The idea of the service was first proposed by various members of the United Ministry. They spoke to David W. Bailey '21, secretary of the Corporation; he communicated with President Pusey who is on vacation. President Pusey indicated his approval of the plan.
Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold of the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel Foundation and the Rev. Canon James P. Breeden of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Boston are scheduled to speak at the service. If King does come, he will replace Breeden.
Breeden has been active in civil rights organizations. He was one of the co-chairmen of the Boston School Stayout last winter. According to Gibson, he was invited because "we wanted to have a minister participating who would be a representative of the Negro people."
Thomas E. Crooks '49, director of the Summer School will read from the scriptures.