Martin Luther King’s county

Washington state is home to the only jurisdiction named for the civil rights leader. How did that happen?

Washington state is home to a place unlike any other. We call it King County, but it’s really Martin Luther King, Jr. County. Some locals already know that their county is named for the civil rights leader; others don’t. But even those who are aware of the name probably don’t know much about the long, difficult journey to make this the only jurisdiction in the entire country named for Dr. King. How did that happen and what does it mean? For the inaugural episode of our new Seattleland podcast, in part one of a two-part series we’re calling What’s in a Name, host Sara Bernard talked to the local political leaders and activists who made it happen to find out.

Featuring interviews with Eddie Rye, Jr.; Charlie James; King County Councilmember Larry Gossett; and former King County Executive Ron Sims.

Music by Leeni Ramadan.

This week’s cover photo was taken during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963.

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