Resolution J2887-2013

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



  • Jan 22, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Jan 13, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE


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.


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