Florida Senate - 2016                                    SR 1444
       By Senators Joyner and Thompson
       19-01846C-16                                          20161444__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing the 87th anniversary of the
    3         birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on January 15,
    4         2016.
    6         WHEREAS, Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15,
    7  1929, in Atlanta, and
    8         WHEREAS, Martin Luther King, Jr., attended Morehouse
    9  College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Crozer
   10  Theological Seminary, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity
   11  degree, and Boston University, where he earned a Doctorate of
   12  Philosophy, and
   13         WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American
   14  Baptist minister who inspired not only African Americans, but
   15  all Americans, to pursue their dreams and to engage in
   16  nonviolent protests against segregation and other social and
   17  economic injustice, and
   18         WHEREAS, while Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of
   19  the modern American Civil Rights Movement lasted less than 13
   20  years, from December 1955 until April 1968, African Americans
   21  achieved dramatic progress in racial equality in America during
   22  that time, and
   23         WHEREAS, drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith
   24  and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther
   25  King, Jr., led the nonviolent movement in the late 1950s and
   26  1960s to achieve legal equality for African Americans in the
   27  United States, and
   28         WHEREAS, while others were advocating for freedom by any
   29  means necessary, including violence, Dr. Martin Luther King,
   30  Jr., used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance,
   31  such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience,
   32  to achieve seemingly impossible goals, and
   33         WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., went on to lead
   34  similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict,
   35  always remaining faithful to his principles that men and women
   36  everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of
   37  the human family, and
   38         WHEREAS, in 1964, at 35 years of age, Dr. Martin Luther
   39  King, Jr., became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace
   40  Prize and, in his acceptance speech in Oslo, delivered rousing
   41  remarks that included the often quoted statement, “I believe
   42  that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final
   43  word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is
   44  stronger than evil triumphant,” and
   45         WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life ended abruptly
   46  and tragically on April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated at the
   47  Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and
   48         WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”
   49  speech, his Nobel Peace Prize lecture, and his “Letter from
   50  Birmingham Jail” are among the most revered orations and
   51  writings in the English language, his accomplishments are now
   52  taught to American children of all races, and his teachings are
   53  studied by scholars and students worldwide, and
   54         WHEREAS, on April 8, 1968, just 4 days after Dr. Martin
   55  Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, Congressman John Conyers
   56  introduced the first legislation providing for a Martin Luther
   57  King, Jr., federal holiday, and
   58         WHEREAS, in April 1971, petitions gathered by the Southern
   59  Christian Leadership Conference bearing 3 million signatures in
   60  support of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday were presented to
   61  the United States Congress, but the holiday legislation remained
   62  stalled, and
   63         WHEREAS, in 1979, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow,
   64  Coretta Scott King, launched an initiative through the King
   65  Center in Atlanta to organize a nationwide citizens’ lobby for a
   66  national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, and the new petition
   67  was signed by more than 300,000 people before the end of the
   68  year, prompting President Jimmy Carter to call on the United
   69  States Congress to pass the national Martin Luther King, Jr.
   70  Holiday, and
   71         WHEREAS, in August 1983, the United States House of
   72  Representatives passed the King Holiday Bill, and, on October
   73  19, 1983, the companion bill sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy
   74  passed the United States Senate by a vote of 78-22, and
   75         WHEREAS, on November 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan
   76  signed the bill establishing the third Monday of each January as
   77  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was first celebrated in 1986,
   78  and
   79         WHEREAS, in 2016, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is being
   80  celebrated on January 18, just 3 days after the 87th anniversary
   81  of his birth, and a grateful nation will remember the humble,
   82  heroic, and God-ordained leader who changed a nation and the
   83  world, and
   84         WHEREAS, in her advocacy for creation of the King Holiday,
   85  Coretta Scott King noted, “As a nation chooses its heroes and
   86  heroines, a nation interprets its history and shapes its
   87  destiny. The commemoration of the life and work of Martin Luther
   88  King, Jr., can help America realize its true destiny as the
   89  global model for democracy, economic and social justice, and as
   90  the first nonviolent society in human history,” NOW, THEREFORE,
   92  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   94         That the Florida Senate encourages all Floridians to
   95  remember the extraordinary life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther
   96  King, Jr., on January 15, 2016, the 87th anniversary of his
   97  birth.