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Monday, Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

South Sound

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Dr. Martin Luther King was propelled into the public limelight five days after civil rights activist Rosa Parks, on Dec. 5, 1955, refused to obey the Montgomery, Ala., law mandating that blacks sit in the back of the bus. A boycott of the city buses was declared, and King, as president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association, was chosen to lead the boycott. His house was bombed, and he was convicted along with other boycott leaders on charges of conspiring to interfere with the bus company's operation. His courage and his impassioned speech led to the desegregation of Montgomery's buses in 1956 when the United States Supreme Court declared Alabama's segregation laws unconstitutional. Over the next 20 years, King emerged as a symbol and leader of the civil rights struggle, despite opposition from both inside and outside the movement. Civil rights opponents reviled him as being too radical, and a significant portion of civil rights activists reviled him as being too moderate, but his commitment to nonviolent means and his vision of an America in which all people will be judged on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin, have come to stand for everything that is good and just about America.

We have listed Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in our News section.

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