He Had A Dream; Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. wanted all of us to live peacefully together, and to have the same opportunities. He believed that things get better for everyone when we pull together, and this is a really good day to remind each other of that. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an inspirational leader who led through peace, passion & courage. How can you use his leadership by example in today’s society?
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
King was an avid advocate for peace & civil rights. Later in his life, he refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. A true inspirational leader, he wasn’t afraid to stand up and fight for what he believed in. King was an activist who firmly believed in using non-violent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. On October 14, 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in the United States.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered many speeches and participated in protests, marches and boycotts in his lifetime. Including: the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 (which led the U.S. Supreme Court to declare segregation on the city’s buses to be unconstitutional), the March on Washington in 1963 which ended with his 17-minute public speech “I Have a Dream”, which he delivered with remarkable emotion on August 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and what would be his last speech, on April 3, 1968, where King addressed a rally and delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ. King’s flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane. In the close of the last speech of his career, in reference to the bomb threat, King said the following:
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Sadly, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life came to an abrupt end when he was assassinated the next day, April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. Observed for the first time on January 20, 1986, it is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Following President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 proclamation, the holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, near the time of King’s birthday. (January 15th).
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.