Interview with Ed Marciniak

Can you tell me about meeting Dr. King at the airport and about the fears you and Mayor Daley had that he would stumble in a different, in the North?


Well, when the official arrival date of Martin Luther King was announced, ah, I went to see the mayor and I said, "I think I ought to go and greet him at the airport." And he said, "Fine." So the police drove me out there. The, ah, airport terminal itself was full of Martin Luther King's supporters so they took me up from the outside. And I got on the plane, ah, before anybody had seen King. And as he was walking down the isle I came up to, ah, Dr. King and I said I c- "I'm here to, ah, give you welcome on behalf of the mayor and I hope that we can work together in achieving the objectives that you're, you're seeking." I then quietly left so that they could have their public display in the terminal so I wouldn't gum up, ah, what they were doing in the terminal. And I think Al Raby appreciated that, that I let it, let them, let him come right out of, ah, the gate into the terminal. And I quietly gone down the steps and with the police and driven away. Ah, that was part of the, that a- That welcome was both genuine and part of a strategy. The strategy was, here was a man coming to a city he didn't know, to a city whose political institutions, with which he was not familiar. Ah, he was dealing with people basically who were non-political, ah suspicous of the political establishment, and so the adivce and counsel that he would be getting would be by and large, ah advice that didn't come through the normal political channels** And it was possible that he could stumble. He could make a mistake--a grievous one--that would, ah, rip the city apart in such a way, ah, that wounds would be hard to heal. And, ah, ah, the emi- I know what the im- ah, well, leave it at that.