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ACR-139 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. (2017-2018)

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ACR139:v97#DOCUMENT

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 139
CHAPTER 4

Relative to Reverend  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  February 07, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 139, Holden. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
This measure would honor the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Renowned civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929; and
WHEREAS, In 1948, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Morehouse College, in 1951, he received his bachelor of divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary, as valedictorian and student body president, and in 1955, he was awarded a doctorate in systematic theology from Boston University; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King was ordained pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954; and
WHEREAS, Five days after Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to comply with segregation on buses in Montgomery, on December 5, 1955, Dr. King was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Montgomery Bus Boycott began; and
WHEREAS, During the boycott, Dr. King gained national prominence as an exceptional leader with extraordinary oratorical skills and personal courage; and
WHEREAS, On December 20, 1956, the United States Supreme Court declared Alabama’s segregation law unconstitutional and Montgomery buses were desegregated; and
WHEREAS, In 1957, Dr. King and other southern African American ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and elected Dr. King as its president; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King led the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C., and subsequently published his first book entitled “Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story”; and
WHEREAS, In 1959, Dr. King toured India, where he learned more about the philosophy of nonviolence of Mohandas K. Gandhi and developed his own theories about achieving social change through nonviolent resistance; and
WHEREAS, During mass demonstrations in 1963 organized by Dr. King and his staff in Birmingham, Alabama, images of brutality inflicted on African American demonstrators by police using police dogs and firehoses shocked the world; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway in 1964, and the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Section 2000e of Title 42 of the United States Code) was enacted as a direct result of Dr. King’s work; and
WHEREAS, In 1965, Dr. King led the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Section 10101 of Title 52 of the United States Code); and
WHEREAS, Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement helped change public policy from segregation to integration, resulting in the repeal of the post-Reconstruction era state laws mandating racial segregation in the south known as the Jim Crow Laws, thereby leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and other antidiscrimination laws aimed at ending economic, legal, and social segregation in America; and
WHEREAS, Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement helped change public policy from legal and socially acceptable discrimination and segregation to an open and accessible policy of racial integration leading to equal participation in and access to primary and higher education, housing, employment, transportation, federal, state, and local governmental elections, and other aspects of public policy relating to human rights; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dramatically influenced the perspective and worldview of our entire generation; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day represents liberation from cruelty and injustice for many African Americans and other minority groups; and
WHEREAS, The notion of liberty from cruelty and injustice is a concept that resonates with all marginalized groups, be inrespective of whether they are deaf, Latino American, Asian American, disabled, gay, or other; and
WHEREAS, Failure to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day sends a message of tolerance to bigotry; and
WHEREAS, Failure to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day sends a message of indifference to minority groups; and
WHEREAS, On April 4, 1968, while in Memphis, Tennessee, assisting striking sanitation workers, Dr. King was assassinated; and
WHEREAS, United States Representative John Conyers introduced legislation in Congress four days later proposing Dr. King’s birthday as a holiday; and
WHEREAS, On April 10, 1970, California became the first state to pass legislation making Dr. King’s birthday a school holiday; and
WHEREAS, Despite resistance to the creation of a new national holiday, the diligence and perseverance of United States Representative John Conyers and numerous others in pursuing this goal culminated on November 2, 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed legislation making Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday; and
WHEREAS, January 20, 1986, marked the first observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; and
WHEREAS, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to fighting segregation and injustice by nonviolent means and is an outstanding example of courageous leadership in the face of unrelenting violence and harassment by individuals and governmental institutions; and
WHEREAS, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a source of inspiration for all Americans; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature honors the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.