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Public Statements

Observing The Birthday Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


OBSERVING THE BIRTHDAY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. -- (House of Representatives - January 16, 2007)

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Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Resolution 61, which observes and celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and invites all Americans to join in this commemoration.

Dr. King's pursuit of social change and making this country worthy of its heritage was evident in all of his work. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP. He became the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association which, of course, was the organization responsible for one of the most important nonviolent demonstrations of modern times in the United States, the 382-day bus boycott.

In 1957, Dr. King was elected President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Between 1957 and 1968, Dr. King appeared wherever he saw injustice. The injustice he saw took him many miles, and the speeches that he made are still taught in schools. They were taught yesterday. They are taught all over the country. They are things which we really do need to listen to and learn from and still have many things to learn from the things that Dr. King said.

Dr. King led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that drew the attention of the world, sparking what he called a ``coalition of conscience.'

Dr. King later directed a peaceful march here in Washington, DC, a march that a quarter of a million people attended, where he delivered his now famous ``I Have a Dream' speech.

At the age of 35, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over all of the prize money to further the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking sanitation workers in that city, he was gunned down.

Dr. King's name is synonymous with the civil rights movement. His life was devoted to changing the conscience of this Nation. His experiences shaped his character, and through them, one of the greatest nonviolent leaders of our country has ever known was created.

Today, we honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King for his service and strength and devotion to the principle that all Americans are entitled to equal treatment under the law in this great Nation. We are a greater Nation because Dr. King lived.

Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, we have heard a number of very moving tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King and I think it is important that we continue to remember what he said. I think what Mr. Faleomavaega quoted sums it up better than anything else, and that is that a person should be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. I think that is something we should always strive for in this Nation.

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