Classifieds | Place a class ad | PDF Edition | Calendar | Discussions | Moderated Chat | Home Delivery| How to cancel
Most of us know Martin Luther King, Jr. for one famous quote: "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
A 34-year-old Baptist pastor and civil rights leader in August 1963, he made the statement in his now-classic "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during a March on Washington.
The civil rights movement, headed by Dr. King, advocated nonviolent protest against racial discrimination.
King grew up in Atlanta, and lived much of his adult life in Montgomery, Ala. He received a Ph.D. in theology from Boston University.
Upon graduation in 1955, he led a successful effort to desegregate Montgomery buses. On Dec. 5, five days after Montgomery civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to obey the city's segregation law pertaining to buses, blacks launched a bus boycott. King became the effort's leader, rose to national prominence because of his oratorical skills and courage, and applauded as the city desegregated the buses in December of 1956 following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against segregation.
King became an author in 1958 with "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story," and wrote numerous speeches in his short career, beginning with a "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" — the same year he delivered his most famous address — noting it was his moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
In 1964 he won the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1968 he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.
King captured much attention because of his speeches and his message of peaceful protest, influenced greatly by Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi.
King's most widely known quote isn't the only remarkable comment he made during the highly volatile times that led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
King gave early 20 notable speeches. The topics ranged from loving one's enemies to education and the Vietnam War. Those comments are filled with wisdom:
• "Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."
• "To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction."
• "When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered."
• "The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization. . .The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty."
The nation observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the third Monday of January, a Monday near to his Jan. 15 birthday, by remembering his peaceful accomplishments, rereading his words and studying his life.
This Monday, whether in school, on the job or enjoying a holiday, Ketchikan and Alaskans will join with the nation and the world in honoring the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.