Senate Bill sb0002A

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    Florida Senate - 2007        (NP)                       SR 2-A

    By Senator Hill


  1                        Senate Resolution

  2         A resolution celebrating and honoring the

  3         heroic life, vibrant leadership, and historic

  4         accomplishments of the Reverend Dr. Martin

  5         Luther King, Jr.


  7         WHEREAS, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was

  8  an American clergyman, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, one

  9  of the principal leaders of the American Civil Rights

10  Movement, and a prominent advocate of nonviolent protest, and

11         WHEREAS, Martin Luther King was born Michael Luther

12  King, in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929, and later

13  renamed after his father, Martin Luther King, Sr., when he was

14  about 6 years old, and

15         WHEREAS, Martin Luther King, Jr., attended local

16  segregated public schools, excelling in his studies; entered

17  Morehouse College at age 15 and graduated with a bachelor's

18  degree in Sociology; graduated from Crozer Theological

19  Seminary in Pennsylvania with honors; and earned a doctorate

20  in systematic theology from Boston University, and

21         WHEREAS, in 1957, Dr. King was instrumental in founding

22  the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which

23  began as an organization of black churches and ministers whose

24  goal was to challenge racial segregation and complement the

25  NAACP's legal efforts to dismantle segregation through the

26  courts, and

27         WHEREAS, in the 1950s and 60s, Dr. King led a series of

28  protest campaigns against segregated restaurants, hotels,

29  housing, schools, and transit facilities which gained national

30  attention, helping to convince many white Americans and others

31  to support the cause of Civil Rights in the United States, and


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    Florida Senate - 2007        (NP)                       SR 2-A

 1         WHEREAS, in April 1963, Dr. King was arrested and sent

 2  to jail during one of these demonstrations and wrote a letter

 3  from his jail cell to a local clergyman who had criticized him

 4  for creating disorder in the city, a letter that became known

 5  as the "Letter From a Birmingham Jail," in which he argued

 6  that individuals have the moral right and responsibility to

 7  disobey unjust laws, and

 8         WHEREAS, Dr. King provided consummate guidance and

 9  insight to the Civil Rights Movement, crafting a proposal for

10  radical social change based on the inspired principles of

11  nonviolent protest which ultimately achieved benchmark changes

12  in the law and improved the possibilities for millions of

13  people who had been marginalized by a history of racism, and

14         WHEREAS, Dr. King and other black leaders brought the

15  Civil Rights Movement to the attention of the country and the

16  world by organizing the 1963 March on Washington, a massive

17  peaceful protest that drew more than 200,000 participants and

18  at which he delivered his magnificent "I Have a Dream" speech,

19  and

20         WHEREAS, that speech and Dr. King's marches in

21  Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, created the political momentum

22  that resulted in the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of

23  1964, which prohibited segregation in public accommodations

24  and prohibited discrimination in education and employment, and

25  also resulted in the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of

26  1965, which was fundamental in guaranteeing the rights of full

27  citizenship to blacks in America, and

28         WHEREAS, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was

29  named "Person of the Year" for 1963 by Time Magazine, and in

30  the article about him Dr. King is quoted as saying "the

31  quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is


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    Florida Senate - 2007        (NP)                       SR 2-A

 1  important. If you are cut down in a movement that is designed

 2  to save the soul of a nation, then no other death could be

 3  more redemptive," and

 4         WHEREAS, on December 10, 1964, the Reverend Dr. Martin

 5  Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and in

 6  his acceptance speech he stated: "I think Alfred Nobel would

 7  know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the

 8  spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds

 9  in trust for its true owners - all those to whom beauty is

10  truth and truth beauty - and in whose eyes the beauty of

11  genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds

12  or silver or gold," and

13         WHEREAS, Dr. King was tragically assassinated in

14  Memphis on April 4, 1968, and his death is still mourned by

15  millions worldwide as a bitter sacrifice to the great ideals

16  he represented to us - social justice, equal rights and

17  opportunity, and the brotherhood of mankind, and

18         WHEREAS, January 20, 1986, was the first national

19  celebration of Dr. King's birthday as a Federal Holiday, NOW,



22  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:


24         That the Senate pauses in its deliberations to honor

25  the memory, and celebrate the 78th birthday, of a great

26  American leader, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

27  whose inspired moral leadership and courage guided our nation

28  through an immense struggle for civil and human rights and

29  whose example continues to inspire us in our efforts to

30  complete that work.



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