In 1961, long before King County was named after him, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. paid a visit to Seattle. He was invited by the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Rev. Samuel B. McKinney, and was originally scheduled to speak at First Presbyterian Church downtown.
Shortly before his arrival, though, First Presbyterian backed out of its agreement to host him, a move that sparked protest from other churches in the area. King ended up speaking at the Eagles Auditorium, Meany Hall at UW, Garfield High School, and Temple de Hirsch.