Memorializing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s tremendous contributions to civil rights

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr.'s tremendous contributions to civil rights and American society, and
the 29th Anniversary of the national holiday that honors his birth and

WHEREAS, Today we celebrate the life and extraordinary achievements of
one of our nation's most beloved and influential leaders, Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., and the 29th Anniversary of the holiday that honors
his birth and achievements; and
WHEREAS, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on Tuesday, January 15,
1929, at his family home in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the first son and
second child born to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta
Williams King; and
WHEREAS, Martin Luther King, Jr. began his education at the Yonge
Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia, attended the Atlanta
University Laboratory School and Booker T. Washington High School, and
was admitted to Morehouse College at the age of 15; and
WHEREAS, At the age of 19, Martin Luther King, Jr. graduated from
Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, and three
years later in 1951 was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Croz-
er Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he also studied
at the University of Pennsylvania, and won several awards for most
outstanding student, among which was the Crozer fellowship for graduate
study at a university of his choice; and
WHEREAS, In 1951, at the age of 22, Martin Luther King, Jr. began
doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University, and also
studied at Harvard University, and at the age of 26, was awarded a
Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston University in 1955; and
WHEREAS, During his studies at Boston and Harvard Universities, Dr.
King married the former Coretta Scott of Marion, Alabama in 1953; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King entered the Christian ministry and was ordained in
February of 1948 at the age of 19 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta,
Georgia, and became Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Mont-
gomery, Alabama, from September of 1954 to November of 1959, when he
resigned to move home to Atlanta; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement
Association, the organization which was responsible for the successful
Montgomery Bus Boycott, which began in 1955 and lasted 381 days; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King was incarcerated many times for his participation in
civil rights activities, was a founder of the Southern Christian Leader-
ship Conference, which he led from 1957 to 1968, and was the leader of
the 1963 March on Washington for Civil Rights, which is one of the larg-
est peaceful demonstrations in American history and is a defining moment
in this nation's civil rights movement; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King was honored countless times for his leadership of
the United States Civil Rights Movement, including his selection by TIME
magazine as Most Outstanding Personality of 1957 and Man of the Year of
1963, and his selection by LINK MAGAZINE of India, the home of Mahatma
Gandhi, as one of the sixteen world leaders who had contributed the most
to the advancement of freedom during 1959; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King's receipt in 1964 of the Nobel Peace Prize, at the
age of 35, made him the youngest recipient of that prestigious award,
and one of only three Black Americans who have received that award,
along with Dr. Ralph Bunche and President Barack Obama, whose journey to
become President owes no small debt to the journey Dr. King and the
millions of Americans who walked hand in hand with him undertook to end
segregation and remind Americans of the great moral underpinnings of our

federal constitution which provides that we are all created equal and of
the incredible power of the American ideal that we all deserve to live
in a free and just society; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4,
1968, by James Earl Ray, and was mourned by millions of Americans of all
ages, races, creeds and colors on the national day of mourning declared
by President Lyndon Johnson; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King's birthday was made into a national holiday in 1986,
was first celebrated in all fifty states in the year 2000, and is the
only federal holiday to honor a private American citizen; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King stands in a long line of great American leaders and
represents the historical culmination and living embodiment of a spirit
of united purpose, rooted in Black African culture and the American
Dream; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King taught us that through non-violence, courage
displaces fear; love transforms hate; acceptance dissipates prejudice;
and mutual regard cancels resentment; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King manifestly contributed to the cause of America's
freedom; his commitment to human dignity is visibly mirrored in the
spiritual, economic and political dimensions of the civil rights move-
ment; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
honor the life of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., whose
untimely death robbed America of his leadership at too early a date, and
whose deeds and words transformed America and live in our homes, schools
and public institutions to this day, continuing to inspire the millions
of Americans whose lives of purpose and achievement might not have been
possible but for Dr. King's leadership and the examples set by the
millions of Americans who joined him in one of the great moral crusades
of the 20th century; and be it further
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body calls upon its members and all
New Yorkers to observe the day of Dr. King's birth as a day of service
to our family, friends, neighbors and those less fortunate than
ourselves, and to moral causes greater than ourselves, and to the Great
State of New York, in keeping with the ideals of the national Martin
Luther King Day of Service, which was started by former Pennsylvania
state Senator Harris Wofford and, Congressman John Lewis, from Atlanta,
Georgia, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act, signed into
law by President Bill Clinton in 1994; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
.SO DOC S R2887 RESO TEXT 2013
smitted to the family of Dr. King and to the King Center in Atlanta.


  • 13 / Jan / 2014
  • 22 / Jan / 2014

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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