2019 MLK MARCH RECALLS 1960 ANECDOTE: A COPACABANA DINNER WITH BUTT, KING, GRAHAM.
In January, H. E. Butt Foundation employees from Kerrville and San Antonio joined hundreds of thousands in the Alamo city’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March, believed to be the nation’s largest MLK Day event. The day provided an opportunity to recall our Foundation’s own connections with Dr. King, the famous American Baptist preacher and civil rights activist.
In the summer of 1960, Howard Butt, Jr., Dr. King, and well-known evangelist Billy Graham went to Rio de Janeiro together to address the Baptist World Alliance. On their way, they spent a few preparatory days together in Puerto Rico, “swimming and praying together,” at the Hilton, according to Graham’s autobiography. A few days later, Howard hosted a special dinner event at the Copacabana with Billy Graham to honor Dr. King, who was already a visible public figure by that time. Toward the end of the meal, Graham thanked Howard publicly for paying for the entire meal. This was news to Howard, but he didn’t skip a beat. It is a testament to their friendship that Howard laughed and happily agreed.
We believe Mr. Butt would have been proud to see the Foundation president and staff among the crowd. After all, he and his family stood for civil rights and justice since the earliest days of the movement.
WE NEED YOUR CAMP/RETREAT PHOTOS
If you attended camps or retreats in the Canyon during the 1950s–2010s dust off those scrapbooks and send us quality scans* of your photos along with a short account of your experience. Caption the photos with names if you’re able! We’re actively expanding our Archives and seeking to further preserve our history. Each Canyon visitor has a story worth telling, and we’d like to share as many as possible.
*We are happy to accept high-resolution (300 DPI) scans saved as high-quality JPG or TIF files (or photographic prints, negatives, or slides, either gifted to the Foundation Archives or to be picked up in person the next time you come through Kerrville). Send to email@example.com.