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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Holiday - 25th Anniversary

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"Happy Birthday to You" Dr. King! Words, music and performance by Stevie Wonder

Source : JohnnieWalker23

Hear and Read from and about Dr. King
Here are links to speeches, books and other resources that convey what Dr. King said and did to move the United States closer to fulfilling its democratic ideals.

Speeches Online
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr
While you are listening to excerpts and full recordings of Dr. King’s remarks, read along with some of those recordingsbk_cov_a_call_to_consciencefrom A Call to Conscience, the collection of Dr. King’s speeches edited by Clayborne Carson, Professor of History, Stanford University, Director, Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Dr. King – “I Have A Dream” Speech
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963

Source: supersuh –

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
"In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice."
[Black and I’m Proud]
Source: supersuh –

"I’ve come here tonight and plead with you. Be proud of yourself and believe that you’re somebody. I said to a group last night, “Nobody else can do this for us. ”No document can do this for us. No Lincolnian proclamation can do this for us; no Ken[nedy]sonian or Johnsonian civil rights bill can do this for us.If the negro is to be freehe must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign, with a pen an ink of self-asserted manhood, his own Emancipation Proclamation.
“Don’t; let anybody take your manhood. Be proud of our heritage; as somebody said earlier tonight, we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Somebody told a lie one day. They couched it in language. They made everything black, ugly and evil. Look in your dictionary and see the synonyms of the word “black.” It’s always something degrading and low and sinister. Look at the word, “white.” It’s always some pure, high and. I want to get the language so right that everybody here will cry out, “Yes I’m Black and I’m proud of it. I’m Black and I’m beautiful”

“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final public remarks
Mason Temple, Memphis Tennessee, April 3, 1968

Part 1 - "I've Been to the Mountaintop"
Part 2 - "I've Been to the Mountaintop"
Source: jamminondakeys –

“Thank you very kindly my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy in his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about."

"'Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.'  She said, 'While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing to say that I'm so happy that you did not sneeze.'"

"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. ..."

“I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” [end of “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” remarks.]

Michael Ealy reads "Beyond Vietnam"
An excerpt of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam," Address delivered to the Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, at Riverside Church
Riverside Church, New York City, April 4, 1967
 Source: DMP079

Excerpt – Live Recording of the end of the speech:
“I’ve been to the Mountaintop”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final public remarks
Mason Temple, Memphis Tennessee, April 3, 1968
Source: Associated Press
blank">CBS News Report announcing assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Walter Cronkite, April 4, 1968

The King Center
Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Hear excerpt of Dr. King's call to action speech, "The Drum Major Instinct" at The King Center website.
Visit The King Center website to learn how you can help to build Dr. King's "Beloved Community."

The Nation Honors Dr. King


Source: Wikimedia

Ronald Reagan signs the bill making Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday - November 2, 1983. The first observation was January 20, 1986.



Happy Birthday to You

Lyrics by Stevie Wonder

You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I'm sure you would agree
It couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday

I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition
Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
that they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King

Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday

Why has there never been a holiday
Where peace is celebrated
all throughout the world

The time is overdue
For people like me and you
Who know the way to truth
Is love and unity to all God's children
It should be a great event
And the whole day should be spent
In full remembrance
Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people
So let us all begin
We know that love can win
Let it out don't hold it in
Sing it loud as you can

Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday Happy birthday Happy birthday Happy birthday Ooh yeah Happy birthday...

We know the key to unify all people
Is in the dream that you had so long ago
That lives in all of the hearts of people
That believe in unity
We'll make the dream become a reality
I know we will
Because our hearts tell us so

From the "Hotter Than July" album, 1980
"...the one song that Wonder gave himself most to was "Happy Birthday," a relentlessy positive compostion specifically written as part of this gifted artist's fight to get Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday recognized as a national holiday. Stevie Wonder eventually won that fight and by the mid-80s, his dream had become a reality.