Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Exhibit


On April 4th, 1967, 57 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his groundbreaking speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” from the chancel at The Riverside Church. On April 7th, Riverside honored the enduring legacy of Dr. King by opening an exhibit to the public complete with items, images captured by John C. Goodwin, and recordings preserved from that day to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.


Recommended Resources

Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” Speech Recording

Program: “Vietnam: A Crisis of Conscience”

The King Institute: Beyond Vietnam

John C. Goodwin (1941 – 2017) | Photojournalist and Activist

Early Life, Education, and Military Service

John C. Goodwin was born in 1941 in Hartford, CT, son of Rev. R. Dean and Almira Goodwin. Soon after his birth, his family relocated to the Boston area and by the time he was four years old, the family had moved again to Tenafly, NJ. Goodwin attended the Tenafly public schools for grades K-12, graduating in 1959.

He attended Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, graduating in 1963 with a BA in Sociology. He was drafted into the U. S. Army in April 1964. He served two stateside years, ending his military duty in April 1966 at a Nike air defense missile site in Tappan, NY.

In 1965, while still in the service, John Goodwin and Joan Knowlton were married and moved to an apartment in Tenafly. In 1968 they moved again, this time to purchase a small house in Demarest, NJ. He went on to raise two sons, Benjamin and David, in Demarest.

Career as a Photojournalist

From 1966 to 1974 Goodwin worked as a freelance photojournalist specializing in the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. His work during those years included the photographing of mass demonstrations as well as individuals, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rabbi Abraham Heschel, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. and John Kerry. Goodwin also photographed peace activist entertainers, including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Judy Collins, Jane Fonda, and Leonard Bernstein.

In September 1974, Goodwin accepted a photographic-communications position with The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, based in New York City at the Interchurch Center in Morningside Heights. This job required him to travel extensively on photographic assignments. During his tenure, he traveled over six continents to more than seventy countries where he photographed people in many situations and engaged in many different projects. Some of his assignments included photographing projects related to agricultural ministries, colleges, and schools. He also photographed hospitals and clinics, including patients dealing medical issues such as, child birth, leprosy, severe cuts, and even a hippo bite.