“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

To us at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives, these are words to live by.  We do not seek to manipulate the historical data entrusted to us, but rather to present an accurate picture of the people and events of our community. We members of the community are a multi-faceted bunch, each shaped by the past in ways unique to the individual; this is the legacy preserved in the archives. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned a future of peace between peoples.  We are still on the road to this future, but we occasionally look back that we might learn from it and move forward.  In fact, we can find hope in looking to the past!  Winchester resident Harano E. Childs (b. 1922) was a supporter of King’s mission to the extent that when King’s home in Alabama was bombed in 1956, Childs wrote to him with a letter of support and received a response signed by King himself.  This letter and a comic book titled “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story” are on display at the Handley Library near the elevator on the 1st floor. 

Did you have any experiences with Martin Luther King?  Share it with the archives, tell us how you were made by that specific piece of history, and we will preserve your story as part of the history that will shape future generations.