Carter Jackson, Henrietta (1902 – 1960)

Carter Jackson, Henrietta (1902 – 1960)

  • <p>Nettie Carter Jackson, Grand Daughter Ruler of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, Staten Island, meets President Eisenhower. Image courtesy of</p>

In 1958, Staten Islander and community leader Nettie Carter Jackson was hailed in newspapers as "The Woman who Saved Martin Luther King" when she grabbed and held Izola Curry, who had stabbed King at an event in Harlem, preventing her from killing him. Patrick Parr writes for History Net:

“Dr. King has ruined my life!” the assailant shouted. “He is no good! The NAACP is no good, it’s communistic. I’ve been after him for six years. I finally was able to get him now!” Law enforcement officers bundled the attacker off to a police station on W. 123rd Street.

Jackson was born and raised in Stapleton, Staten Island.

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Dr. King spoke about this assassination attempt in his famous Mountain Top Speech. He spoke of the event, and of the doctors telling him if he had sneezed he would have died. He goes on to talk about all he would not have been able to achieve "if he had sneezed." Read a transcription of the speech at:

Audio clip: Listen to the section of Dr. King's "Mountain Top" Speech in which he speaks about the incident and "if he had sneezed."

  • Listen to the audio

  • <p>Sunday News. Sunday, September 21, 1958.</p>
  • <p>"The Woman Who Saved Martin Luther King." New York Age, September 27, 1958.</p>