On September 20th, 1958 Martin Luther King Jr would attend a “Stride Toward Freedom” book signing in Harlem, New York when a deranged woman, Izola Curry, nearly fatally stabbed King in the chest with a letter opener. King would later described the near death attempt in his autobiography:
“…when I was well enough to talk with Dr. Aubrey Maynard, the chief of the surgeons who performed the delicate, dangerous operation, I learned the reason for the long delay that preceded surgery. He told me that the razor tip of the instrument had been touching my aorta and that my whole chest had to be opened to extract it. ‘If you had sneezed during all those hours of waiting,’ Dr. Maynard said, ‘your aorta would have been punctured and you would have drowned in your own blood.’Offered here is the first King item we have handled dating back to that significant event with this 1958 first edition signed “Stride Toward Freedom” (hardcover book).
Martin Luther King Jr would add the date and location pinpointing this to his near-deathbed in the Harlem Hospital on October 2nd, 1958. just 12 days following the assignation attempt.
Overall the book remains in good condition including the original dust jacket. Items signed by King are a rarity in any format, but items with content and date significance almost never surface making this a true centerpiece item for any Martin Luther King Jr collector in and out of Harlem.
A great piece of Harlem and world history.