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S.Res. 29 (110th): A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the many lessons still to be learned from Dr. King’s example of nonviolence, courage, compassion, dignity, and public service.


The text of the resolution below is as of Jan 26, 2007 (Resolution Agreed to by Senate).


III

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. RES. 29

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 12, 2007

(for herself, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Kohl, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Obama, Mr. Webb, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Levin, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Salazar, Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Tester, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Byrd, Mr. Brown, Mr. Biden, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Bayh, Mr. Reed, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Feingold, Mr. Reid, Mr. Specter, Mr. Dorgan, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Kyl, Mr. Cornyn, and Mr. McConnell) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

January 25, 2007

Reported by Mr. Leahy, without amendment

January 26, 2007

Considered and agreed to

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the many lessons still to be learned from Dr. King's example of nonviolence, courage, compassion, dignity, and public service.

Whereas Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to securing the Nation's fundamental principles of liberty and justice for all citizens;

Whereas Dr. King was the leading civil rights advocate of his time, spearheading the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, and earned worldwide recognition as an eloquent and articulate spokesperson for equality;

Whereas in the face of hatred and violence, Dr. King preached a doctrine of nonviolence and civil disobedience to combat segregation, discrimination, and racial injustice, and believed that each person has the moral capacity to care for other people;

Whereas Dr. King awakened the conscience and consciousness of the Nation and used his message of hope to bring people together to build the Beloved Community—a community of justice, at peace with itself;

Whereas Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929, and attended segregated public schools in Georgia;

Whereas Dr. King began attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 15, and received a B.A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather;

Whereas Dr. King received his B.D. in 1951 from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in theology in 1955 from Boston University;

Whereas in Boston Dr. King met Coretta Scott, his life partner and fellow civil rights activist, and they married on June 18, 1953, and had 2 sons and 2 daughters;

Whereas Dr. King was ordained in the Christian ministry in February 1948 at the age of 19 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Atlanta, Georgia, and became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church;

Whereas, in 1954, Dr. King accepted the call of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, and was pastor there until November 1959, when he resigned to move back to Atlanta to lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference;

Whereas from 1960 until his death in 1968, Dr. King was again a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, along with his father;

Whereas between 1957 and 1968, Dr. King traveled over 6,000,000 miles, spoke over 2,500 times, and wrote 5 books and numerous articles, supporting efforts around the Nation to end injustice and bring about social change and desegregation;

Whereas Dr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott for 381 days to protest the arrest of Mrs. Rosa Parks and the segregation of the bus system of Montgomery, Alabama, in the first great nonviolent civil rights demonstration of contemporary times in the United States;

Whereas during the boycott, Dr. King was arrested and his home was bombed, yet he responded with nonviolence and courage in the face of hatred;

Whereas, on November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the laws requiring segregation in Montgomery's bus system to be unconstitutional, leading to the end of the bus boycott on December 21, 1956;

Whereas Dr. King led the March on Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, the largest rally of the civil rights movement;

Whereas during during that march, Dr. King delivered his famous I Have A Dream speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and before a crowd of over 200,000 people;

Whereas Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech is one of the classic orations in United States history;

Whereas Dr. King was a champion of nonviolence, fervently advocating nonviolent resistance as the strategy to end segregation and racial discrimination in the United States;

Whereas Dr. King was awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for his efforts, and, at the age of 35, was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize;

Whereas through his work and reliance on nonviolent protest, Dr. King was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965;

Whereas the work of Dr. King created a basis of understanding and respect and helped communities, and the Nation as a whole, to act cooperatively and courageously to achieve tolerance, justice, and equality between people;

Whereas, on the evening of April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead sanitation workers in protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions;

Whereas in 1968 Representative John Conyers first introduced legislation to establish a national holiday honoring Dr. King;

Whereas Coretta Scott King led a massive campaign to establish Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday;

Whereas in 1983 Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day;

Whereas in 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries;

Whereas in remembering Dr. King we also honor his wife and indispensable partner, Coretta Scott King, a woman of quiet courage and great dignity who marched alongside her husband and became an international advocate for peace and human rights;

Whereas Mrs. King, who had been actively engaged in the civil rights movement as a politically and socially conscious young woman, continued after her husband's death to lead the Nation toward greater justice and equality for all, traveling the world advocating for racial and economic justice, peace and nonviolence, women's and children's rights, gay rights, religious freedom, full employment, health care, and education until her death on January 30, 2006;

Whereas the values of faith, compassion, courage, truth, justice, and nonviolence that guided Dr. and Mrs. King's dream for the United States will be celebrated and preserved by the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall near the Jefferson Memorial and in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture that will be located near the Lincoln Memorial;

Whereas Dr. King’s actions and leadership made the United States a better place and the people of the United States a better people;

Whereas the people of the United States should commemorate the legacy of Dr. King, so that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; and

Whereas Dr. King’s voice is silenced today, but on the national holiday honoring Dr. King and throughout the year, the people of the United States should remember his message, recommit to his goal of a free and just nation, and consider each person's responsibility to other people: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—

(1)

observes and celebrates the national holiday honoring Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.;

(2)

honors Dr. King's example of nonviolence, courage, compassion, dignity, and public service;

(3)

pledges to advance the legacy of the Dr. King; and

(4)

encourages the people of the United States to celebrate—

(A)

the national holiday honoring Dr. King; and

(B)

the life and legacy of Dr. King.