On this date, June 18, in 1953, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott were married in Marion, Alabama.
It was in Boston that I met and fell in love with the attractive singer Coretta Scott, whose gentle manner and air of repose did not disguise her lively spirit. I had met quite a few girls in Boston, but none that I was particularly fond of.
I was about to get cynical. So I asked Mary Powell, a friend from Atlanta who was also a student at the New England Conservatory of Music, “Do you know any nice, attractive young ladies?”
Mary Powell introduced us and I was fortunate enough to get Coretta’s telephone number. We met over the telephone: “This is M. L. King, Jr. A mutual friend of ours told me about you and gave me your telephone number. She said some very wonderful things about you, and I’d like very much to meet you and talk to you.”
We talked awhile. “You know every Napoleon has his Waterloo. I’m like Napoleon. I’m at my Waterloo, and I’m on my knees. I’d like to meet you and talk some more. Perhaps we could have lunch tomorrow or something like that.”
She agreed to see me. “I’ll come over and pick you up. I have a green Chevy that usually takes ten minutes to make the trip from B.U., but tomorrow I’ll do it in seven.”
She talked about things other than music. I never will forget, the first discussion we had was about the question of racial and economic injustice and the question of peace. She had been actively engaged in movements dealing with these problems.
After an hour, my mind was made up. I said, “So you can do something else besides sing? You’ve got a good mind also. You have everything I ever wanted in a woman. We ought to get married someday.”
I didn’t want a wife I couldn’t communicate with. I had to have a wife who would be as dedicated as I was. I wish I could say that I led her down this path, but I must say we went down it together because she was as actively involved and concerned when we met as she is now.
I told my mother, “Coretta is going to be my wife.” On June 18, 1953, we were married. Although we had returned to Marion to be married by my father on the Scotts’ spacious lawn, it was in Boston that we began our married life together. [Excerpt from The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.]