Sunday, Jan 15, 2023, marked the 94th birthday of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.; and on this Monday Jan. 16, 2023, the whole nation celebrates and honors this great patriot with the official federal holiday of Martin Luther King Day.
From the Biography Martin Luther King Web site: “Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, ‘I Have a Dream’.”
On August 28, 1963 there was a huge civil rights “March on Washington for jobs and freedom”, which culminated in Martin Luther King’s iconic “I have a dream speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, before hundreds of thousands [some estimate 250,000] of Americans.
“I’ve seen the Promised Land,” Martin Luther King Jr. said in a speech in Memphis on April 3, 1968. He was assassinated the following day: This video from the Smithsonian You Tube Site:
On April 16, 1963 Martin Luther King in a Birmingham jail wrote one of the most important, inspiring and iconic treatises in his, “Letter From a Birmingham Jail“. It is a very long letter addressed to his fellow clergymen. Please click here to read the entire letter.
From this web site the letter begins:
“16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.”
and the letter ends:
“If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.
I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.”
As this great man and great American patriot is now delivering his inspiring words to the angels in heaven, let all of America salute Martin Luther King, Jr. and enjoy this Martin Luther King Day!
Happy King Day, America!