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CoastLine: Bertha Todd, Former Williston Librarian, on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Assassination

Bertha Todd

 April 4th, 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.  The news of King's murder reverberated around the world, but the loss for students, parents, and staff at Williston Senior High School in Wilmington was particularly wrenching.  Dr. King had planned to make a speech at the only all-black high school in the segregated New Hanover County School system but instead he chose to stay in Tennessee to support a sanitation workers strike.  The Reverend who became known for his 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech was pronounced dead at a Memphis hospital 7:05 that evening. 

Bertha Boykin Todd served as the only Librarian of Williston Senior High School for 14 years, from 1954 until it closed the same year as Dr. King’s assassination.  She remembers that day at Williston, and she is co-chair of the 50-year commemoration commission with District Attorney Ben David. 


Bertha Todd, Local Civil Rights Leader and Former Williston Librarian/Media Specialist

Information on the April 4th Commemoration

MLK & Wilmington 50 year Commemoration

April 4, 2018, 6:30 - 8 PM

Williston Middle School, 401 S. 10th Street


Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.
Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR