Happy Birthday!

Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes. Right up there with Abraham Lincoln. Though Dr. King’s birthday is actually January 15, the holiday in his honor is observed on the third Monday of January (following guidelines of the federal “Uniform Monday Holiday Act”). Yes, there really is such a thing.

          FYI… it was Republican Senator Edward Brooke and Democrat Representative John Conyers who co-introduced a bill in Congress to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday.

          FYI… President George H. W. Bush (Bush One) made Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, a member for life of the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission.

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A WEE BIT MORE BACKSTORY . . .

          When Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President (with only 42% of the vote) in 1913, his Presidency coincided with a revival of the Klu Klux Klan. President Wilson even screened Birth of a Nation in the White House. The movie portrays black men from a repulsive racist viewpoint and presents the KKK as good guys with good solutions.

          In 1944, future U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd wrote this: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

          In 1946, Byrd wrote, “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.” In his local KKK unit, Byrd was unanimously voted in as their leader, the Exalted Cyclops.

          On March 30, 1964, Democrat Senator Richard Russell led one Republican Senator and eighteen Democrat Senators in a filibuster to prevent passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Quoting the Democrat leader, Senator Russell: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races…”

          On the morning of June 10, 1964, Democrat Senator Robert C. Byrd ended his solo 14 hours and 13 minutes filibuster against passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and, of course, he later voted “NO!”

          Dr. King’s life was the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also prohibited racial segregation and unequal application of voter registration requirements.

          When it came to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (prohibiting racial discrimination in voting), Senator Byrd chose to not cast a vote. He also voted against confirmation of distinguished African-American lawyers Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. Byrd was the only senator to do that.

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“From my first day in the senate, I sought out his guidance . . . I admired his passion for government that improves the lives of the people it serves.”

— Hillary Rodham Clinton

(Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State

speaking of her friend, Robert C. Byrd)

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“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Mankind overboard!” Dr. King shouted, and then gave up his own life preserver to save us from ourselves.”

— Uncle Earl

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          In closing . . . happy new year and thank you very much for reading my posts. Or, as they say in California (the marijuana capital of America) . . . muchas grasses.

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FINIS

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