The January 18, 1965 edition of the New York Times states “The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was punched and kicked by a white man today while he was registering as the first Negro guest of a hotel built more than a century ago by slave labor.” The hotel the article is referring to was the Hotel Albert in Selma, Alabama. James George Robinson, a white states righter, attacked King for trying to register at the hotel, a formerly whites only business in Selma, Alabama. He punched King several times, and before black onlookers intervened, kicked him in the groin. King refused to press charges stating that he had sympathy for Robinson. Two months later, Robinson was arrested for beating a SNCC photographer. It is unclear why the hotel was demolished in 1969, but Selma residents tell me that the staircase inside the hotel held clear horse shoe impressions from when Union soldiers stormed the hotel on horseback. They say the reminder of Union victory and the stain of Dr. King’s beating was enough reason to demolish the historic hotel.