Profile: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — The Man and The Day of Service at CCC and Around the Nation

(ORIGINALLY PRINTED IN 2016 Jan-Feb EDITION)

Edited By Harry Schonleber Campus Press Staff Writer

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Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement.

January 15 & 18 Tribute to King   In tribute to Dr. King, the college’s Student Life and Activities Office organized two days of service, Jan. 15 and Jan. 18 (see below), in honor of Dr. King to benefit The Forgotten Haven, a South Jersey non-profit organization.  Dr. King is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.

King Leads Change    A Baptist minister, The Rev. Dr. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. Dr. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a colorblind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

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King Receives Nobel Peace Prize   In 1964, Dr. King, at age 34, became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.

King Slain on April 4, 1968   Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.   Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday and of service in 1986.   Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, was the 30th nationwide celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy.

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Images of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sources: “MLK Day” — ksfy.com, “1964 TIME Magazine Cover” — theroadtomotvaton.blogspot.comand “MLK Jr. on USA First Class 33 Cents” — Stamppostalmuseum.si.edu.

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