We Americans commemorate the birthday of one of the outstanding citizens
of the 20th century, Rev. Dr. MartinLutherKing, Jr. Many years ago, I was pleased to be one of the
original sponsors of the legislation making his birthday a national holiday, and
I urged all Americans to commemorate January 15 with
appropriate ceremonies, sharing Dr. King's message,
vision, and legacy.
We should all avail ourselves of this opportunity to once again honor the
legacy of the Reverend Dr. MartinLutherKing, Jr. more than thirty years since his life was
senselessly snuffed out by an assassin in Memphis, Tennessee. It is more
important than ever that all Americans, especially our young people, are
reminded of his significant contributions and his message.
Regrettably, many Americans view MartinLutherKing Day as a holiday just
for African Americans. Rev. King would have been the
first person to repudiate that attitude, for his message was for ALL people, of
all races, creeds, colors and backgrounds. His message of equality in both
government and economic opportunity is universal and should be heeded by all
citizens of America and, in fact, all citizens of the world.
Dr. King contributed more to the causes of
national freedom and equality than any other individual of the 20th century. His
achievements as an author and as a minister were surpassed only by his
leadership, which transformed a torn people into a beacon of strength and
solidarity, and united a divided nation under a common creed of brotherhood and
It was Dr. King's policy of nonviolent protest
which served to open the eyes of our nation to the horrors of discrimination and
police brutality. This policy revealed the discriminatory Jim Crow laws of the
South as hypocritical and unfair, and forced civil rights issues into the
national dialectic. It is due to the increased scope and salience of the
national civil rights discussion that the movement achieved so much during its
decade of our greatest accomplishment, from 1957 to 1968.
It was in 1955 that Dr. King made his first mark
on our nation, when he organized the black community of Montgomery, Alabama
during a 382-day boycott of the city's bus lines. The boycott saw Dr. King and many other civil rights activists incarcerated in
prison as "agitators," but their efforts were rewarded in 1956, when the U.S.
Supreme Court declared that the segregational practices of the Alabama bus
system were unconstitutional, and demanded that blacks be allowed to ride with
equal and indistinguishable rights. The result proved the theory of nonviolent
protest in practice, and roused our nation to the possibilities to be found
through peace and perseverance.
In 1963, Dr. King and his followers faced their
most ferocious test, when they set a massive civil rights protest in motion in
Birmingham, Alabama. The protest was met with brute force by the local police,
and many innocent men and women were injured through the violent response.
However, the strength of the police department worked against the forces of
discrimination in the nation, as many Americans came to sympathize with the
plight of the blacks through the sight of their irrational and inhumane
By August of 1963 the civil rights movement had achieved epic
proportions, and it was in a triumphant and universal air that Dr.
King gave his memorable ``I Have a Dream'' speech on the steps of
the Lincoln Memorial. In the following year, Dr. King
was distinguished as Time magazine's ``Man of the Year`` for 1963, and
subsequently, in 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Throughout his remaining years, Dr. King
continued to lead our nation towards increased peace and unity. He spoke out
against the Vietnam War, and led our nation's War on Poverty. To Dr. King, the international situation was inextricably linked to
the domestic, and thus it was only through increased peace and prosperity at
home that tranquility would be ensured abroad.
When Dr. King was gunned down in 1968 he had
already established himself as a national hero and pioneer. As the years passed
his message continued to gather strength and direction, and it is only in the
light of his multi-generational influence that the true effects of his ideas can
Dr. King was a man who lacked neither vision nor
the means and courage to express it. His image of a strong and united nation
overcoming the obstacles of poverty and inequality continues to provide us with
an ideal picture of the ``United'' states which still fills the hearts of
Americans with feelings of brotherhood and a common purpose for years to come.
Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to bear in mind the courageous,
dedicated deeds of Rev. Dr. MartinLutherKing, Jr., and to join together on MartinLutherKing
Day, in solemn recollection of his significant contributions for enhancing human
rights throughout our nation and throughout the world. --
Wednesday, January 23, 2002,
Congressional record, HON. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN of New York in the House of
Seattle Times: Martin Luther
... Few have had as much impact upon the American consciousness as the
late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ...
Description: In-depth biographical
information created to mark the 70th anniversary of King's birth.
Martin Luther King
... Click here to link to the MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. PAPERS PROJECT
at Stanford University. GO TO LIFE HOMEPAGE.
Description: Life magazine's tribute
includes both pictures of Dr. King and excerpts from his writings.
A Tribute to
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., minister, civil rights leader, intellectual,
reformer, author, recipient of countless accolades and awards, winner of the ...
Description: Long Island University
professor examines the impact of King's life on all Americans - includes
King, Jr. - American Civil-Rights Leader
... Resources. The ML King, Jr., Papers Project at Stanford University; Martin
King Jr. resources maintained by The Seattle Times; National Civil Rights
Description: Short biographical sketch of
King's life, followed by annotated listing of recommended books about King.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day/Black History Month
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month Selected Reference Sources
from Louisiana State University Libraries, Baton Rouge, LA ...
Description: Biographical sketch
presented by Louisiana State University; includes partial listing of awards
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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great photographs at the Life MLK Jr. Classic Images Web site. ...
CNN - Martin Luther
King Jr. Day
... The nation remembered the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with prayers, marches
volunteerism on Monday and, for the first time, a halt in trading on US ...
Description: Examines 1998 national
observances of King's birthday.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
... Martin Luther King, Jr. What's the essence of Martin Luther King's legacy?
work, words, and wisdom mean many things to many people. Come learn more and ...
Description: Site helps families broaden
their knowledge of King's life and legacy as they celebrate his birthday.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) Civil Rights Leader
Any number of historic moments in the ...
Description: African-American History
examines King's life and accomplishments.
Annie's "Martin Luther
King Jr. Day" Page
Annie's "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" Page. My parents raised me to believe that
could be anything I wanted to be and do anything I wanted. They also taught me
Description: Page reflects on the King
holiday from a Christian perspective.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt Click Here To Enter. Dr. Martin
King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt Teresa Strong 1999-2000 Last updated 11/08/2000.
Description: Internet scavenger hunt
helps web surfers learn more about the life of Dr. King.
Quotes from Martin
Luther King, Jr.
... A collection of quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. Somehow this madness must
We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering ...
Black Voices --
Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
");document.write(""); I Have A Dream. What has become of
his legacy? Timeline The life of a great leader. ...
Description: Multimedia presentation on
King's life includes video excerpt of his I Have A Dream speech, timeline,
Web66: Martin Luther
Martin Luther King Day. I have a Dream. by Martin Luther King, Jr. Delivered on
the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on August 28, 1963. ...
Description: Full text of King's most
Martin Luther King
Questions regarding the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination: The Lorraine Motel in ...
Description: An in-depth article by a St.
Louis newspaper reporter on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr:
Bound to Love
... Used in Preparing this Article: Major Events in the Life of Dr Martin Luther
Jr, Handout included in the package, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr a Biographical
Description: One page article about the
life of "an American Saint". By Dharmaraj and featured by Knowledge.
Martin Luther King Jr., HS
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Description: Public school located in
Manhattan's Lincoln Square.
... Listen to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech as you study
and accounts of the August 28, 1963, great march on Washington. Imagine ...
Martin Luther King Jr.
. ... 921 King, Martin Luther Jr. BLACKST Phillips, Donald T. Martin Luther King
on Leadership: Inspiration and Wisdom for Challenging Times. 1999. ...
Who Shot Martin Luther King, Jr.?
... it will be the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther
and 30 years later, there are still lingering questions surrounding Dr King ...
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