Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s eldest son is today expected to make a public address to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday named for his father.
Martin Luther King III is the president and chief executive officer of The King Center, and is to deliver his tribute at the annual holiday observance, traditionally held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father preached from 1960 until his death in 1968.
Martin Luther King III will also discuss the terrible events in Tucson last weekend, linking it to his father’s assassination which took place on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis. The Tucson shootings left 6 people dead, and 13 (not 18 as originally reported) injured, including Congresswoman and Energy Officer, Gabrielle Giffords who is still in critical condition after receiving a gun shot wound to the head.
Martin Luther King Jr. won Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and would have been 82 years old on January 15th, 2011 had his life not been extinguished so famously on that Spring morning in Memphis, when he was aged just 39 years old.
King was a civil rights activist who envisioned a world without prejudice or racial inequality, and he believed that all matters could be settled non-violently. His assassination was a calculated move by the perpetrators as it ripped an even bigger divide through the racial heartland of America and increased tensions between blacks and whites.
Some saw the appointment of Barrack Obama as a step towards healing that rift which still exists to a lesser extent, while others remain sceptical about Obama and his administration.
Martin Luther King Jr. is the only non-presidential American to have a federal holiday named in his honor, and he has been recognized on the third Monday in January since 1986. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.
The commemorative service closes a week of events which included a ceremony honouring Matin Luther King Jr. at the state Capitol, and The Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner, which also honoured the late Sen. Edward Kennedy for his work in the field of civil rights. His widow, Victoria, attended the ceremony and accepted the award on his behalf. The senator died at age 77 in 2009 after a battle with brain cancer.
Please share you thoughts on the work of Martin Luther King Jr., how his assassination affected America, or leave a tribute by writing a comment.
Read about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, John Wheeler’s suspicious death, Ashley Turton’s ‘accidental’ death, Salman Taseer’s murder, and the events in Tucson which put Gabrielle Giffords in a coma.
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