Friday, January 18, 2008

Adirondack Region Martin Luther King Jr Day Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this Monday, January 21, 2008.

According to a press release from Adirondack Progressives:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most important leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Dr. King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington in 1963. Dr. King vociferously opposed the Viet Nam War and became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Price. He was assassinated forty years ago this April 4 while in Memphis, Tennessee, to support striking black sanitary public works employees, represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Dr. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977.

Although James Earl Ray was arrested, convicted and imprisoned for Dr. King’s murder, in 1999 Dr. King’s widow Coretta Scott King, along with the rest of King’s family, won a wrongful death civil trial against Loyd Jowers and “other unknown co-conspirators.” Jowers claimed to have received $100,000 to arrange King’s assassination. The jury of six whites and six blacks found Jowers guilty and that “governmental agencies were parties” to the assassination plot.

Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986, but it wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states officially observed the holiday for the first time. Before 2000 the holiday was not observed by New Hampshire, Arizona, or South Carolina and in Virginia, the holiday was added on to Lee-Jackson Day, a day meant to honor confederate generals, and became Lee-Jackson-King Day. Although the day is now a universally celebrated federal and state holiday, it is usually not observed by American corporations.

In Glens Falls, Adirondack Native Dr. Alice Green will be giving a speech entitled “Doctor King: From Dreamer to Revolutionary.” Dr. Green is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Center for Law and Justice, a non-profit community organization that monitors criminal justice activities, provides legal assistance and criminal justice advocacy, organizes efforts to change social policy and empowers poor people and people of color. She entered the 2005 Mayor’s race in Albany running as the Green Party’s candidate in which she garnered an impressive 28% of the vote.

At 5 pm, following brief remarks from local politicians on the steps of Glens Falls City Hall, marchers will proceed to Christ Church at 54 Bay Street where a public program commemorating and celebrating the life, work, and message of Dr. King will be held beginning at 5:30 pm. A reception will follow. For more information contact Matt Funiciello at mattfuniciello (AT) earthlink.net

In Canton, St. Lawrence University will hold a teach-in on Monday, Jan. 21 celebrating Dr. King at the Student Center. The events are open to the public, and free of charge with the exception of dinner. The day will be begin with protest music at 11:30 am and will include a panel discussions, presentations, a march and service and a southern themed dinner. A complete schedule is here. For further information, contact the University Chaplain’s office at 229-5256.

Please feel free to let us know about other local events.

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John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for more than 45 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John's Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on North Country Public Radio and on WSLP Lake Placid.

He is also on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute and edits The New York History Blog. He is the author of two books of regional history.




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