Resolution J249-2013

Memorializing the 84th Birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Jan 23, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Jan 18, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  memorializing the 84th Birthday of the Reverend
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his tremendous  contributions  to  civil
rights  and  American  society, and the 27th Anniversary of the national
holiday that honors his birth and achievements

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 27th 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-
smitted to the family of Dr. King and to the King Center in Atlanta.

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