Eau Claire (WQOW)- Fifty years ago Wednesday, the nation lost one of its most influential civil rights leaders ever.
People across the country are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including in Eau Claire.
King gave a speech at UW- Eau Claire on March 29, 1962 challenging President John F. Kennedy to issue "A 2nd Emancipation Proclamation."
One of the most famous quotes from his speech on campus was, "The first proclamation freed us from slavery. The second will free us from segregation, which is actually nothing more than slavery."
Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton a history professor at UWEC said we should care about his assassination, because there's still more to learn.
"Eau Claire is facing a culture challenge in that we have a multi-cultural population that is growing, and that multi-cultural population is intermarrying. We have a fairly out-sized number of bi-racial people, so he spoke to all of that, and how we should respect each other," said Ducksworth-Lawton.
She said it's important to remember how fragile progression can be, and continue to work for equality.