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Morning Song – Happy Birthday

January 16, 2012

Even more remarkable than the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life is the fact that on Nov. 2, 1983 President Ronald Reagan (yes, this Ronald Reagan, and listen to the crowd’s reaction at 1:22 when Reagan proclaims, “I believe in states’ rights”—they know what he’s saying) signed a bill into law making Dr. King’s birthday a federal holiday—just 15 years after his death as one of the most feared, hated and divisive figures in American public life.  (Young ‘uns, ask the old folks.  There was a lot of fear, hatred and division in these United States in 1968.)

It took a lot of organizing—culminating in the largest petition drive in US history, signed by over 6 million of the 226 million people living in the country at that time—to make King Day a federal holiday.  This song helped.  And, because it’s Stevie Wonder, you can dance to it.

Later this morning we’ll go to church for prayer, a speaker, brunch and fellowship.  It’s just one of the thousands of below-the-radar observances that will happen across the country, and around the world, today—along with all the larger, more public celebrations.  What are you doing for King Day?

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From → History, Music, Politics

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