Martin Luther King Jr. was a man that had a dream for this great country. In a time of strong racial tensions, he fought to the equality of all. He used nonviolent methods to to help end racial segregation and discrimination.

King was a Baptist minister that led movements in Albany, Birmingham, Montgomery, St. Augustine, Selma, Chicago and many other places.

He received several awards and honors throughout his lifetime including but not limited to: the Pacem Terris Award and the Time Person of the year in 1963, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the American Liberties Medallion in 1965, the Margaret Sanger Award in 1966, and the Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights in 1968.

On April 4, 1968, King was shot as he gave a speech from the second floor balcony at the Lorraine Motel. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7, 1968 a national day of mourning for King.

On Nov. 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a national holiday to honor King and Jan. 20, 1985 was the first time it was officially observed.

In 1992, President George H. W. Bush made a proclamation stating that the third Monday of January each year will be observed as Martin Luther King Jr. day. On Jan 17, 2000, MLK day was observed in all fifty states for the first time.

Today, Jan. 17, 2011, Orange honored the memory King by hosting a parade.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers