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Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”*

Today the US celebrates the life of Dr [w:Martin Luther King, Jr.] one of the leaders of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and one of the greatest orators in US history. King was a champion for civil rights for African Americans as well as economic justice for all poor people and organized the [w:Poor People’s Campaign]. He spoke out against all injustice including against the Vietnam War. King received the [w:Nobel Peace Prize] on December 10, 1964 for his work for civil rights and economic justice. He was assassinated at the age of 39 on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986.

*The quote in the title of this post is from “Letter from Birmingham Jail” an open letter written on April 16, 1963 in response to a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen on April 12, 1963, titled “A Call For Unity.”

Lunchtime listen: Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech

Tomorrow (August 28) is the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous [w:I Have a Dream] speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the [w:March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom]. It was a defining and high-water moment for the civil rights movement and one of the greatest speeches in American history. Please take a few minutes to watch (and/or read) King’s famous speech. It’s a great reminder of the better angels in each of us.

Volunteering Opportunities for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Those who would like to volunteer for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will find opportunities via MLKDay.gov You can locate service opportunities within your state using keywords and selecting a state from the drop-down box. Options are also available to register individual projects/organizations. Marketing resources can be accessed through the website. A press release from MLKDay.gov states that Colin Powell inaugurated a new website, USAService.org which has been “created by the Presidential Inaugural Committee where Americans can find volunteer opportunities for the January 19 King Holiday or sign up to host a local event.”

Lost MLK speech

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!! Here’s a treat for you:

On February 26, 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr., was invited to give a sermon for Friday evening Shabbat services at Temple Israel of Hollywood. Unless you listened to this tape in the Temple’s archives, or were there that night, this speech hasn’t been heard since. Well now the Jewish Journal has uncovered this rare speech and made it available via its Web site (and below). Kevin Roderick of LAObserved adds some context (via an unnamed Proquest database)

King was 36 years old at the time. Selma was heating up that month, and Malcolm X had just been killed in New York, so King arrived in Los Angeles under heavy guard. It was his first trip west since winning the Nobel Peace Prize. King dined with prominent Westsiders at the Beverly Hills home of Dr. Irving Lichtenstein and attended a screening of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” at the Cinerama Dome (now the Arclight.) The theater crawled with police because of death threats and the seizure of stolen dynamite connected to a racist group. King also spoke at the World Affairs Council at the Hollywood Palladium. The Times reported that an “overflow crowd” of 1,500 at the temple gave King a warm welcome. That Sunday he returned to Selma.

And for an added bonus, here’s MLK’s “I have a dream” speech!