Tag Archives: Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday, January 15, 2018 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday and The Lincoln Memorial

Monday, January 15, 2018 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

“… Not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” Speech. August 28, 1963.

This is probably the best photograph I have taken up to this point in my life. It was take on June 2012.

It is copyrighted, so do not take it call it yours and hang it on the wall. If there are any lawyers left who are not suing somebody in the government, then I will sue you for copyright violation.

It is the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The Lincoln memorial was dedicated by President Warren G. Harding in 1922. Talk about some presidential scandals during a president’s administration.

Robert Todd Lincoln, age 78, and Lincoln’s only surviving son attended the dedication. Three of four sons and a husband dead before their time and you wonder why Mary Todd was depressed.

The 36 columns represent the states of the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death; the 48 stone festoons above the columns represent the 48 states in 1922. I had to look up festoon; you can too.

Inside, each inscription is surmounted by a 60-by-12-foot (18.3 by 3.7 m) mural by Jules Guerin portraying principles seen as evident in Lincoln’s life: Freedom, Liberty, Immortality, Justice, and the Law on the south wall; Unity, Fraternity, and Charity on the north. Cypress trees, representing Eternity, are in the murals’ backgrounds. The murals’ paint incorporated kerosene and wax to protect the exposed artwork from fluctuations in temperature and moisture.[13]

The ceiling consists of bronze girders ornamented with laurel and oak leaves. Between these are panels of Alabama marble, saturated with paraffin to increase translucency. But feeling that the statue required even more light, Bacon and French designed metal slats for the ceiling to conceal floodlights, which could be modulated to supplement the natural light; this modification was installed in 1929. The one major alteration since was the addition of a handicapped elevator in the 1970s.

Freedom, Liberty, Immortality, Justice, Law, Unity, Fraternity, and Charity are just a few of the words one sees or feels when standing before this sculpture.

Inscription above the sculpture – In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever. Photo by me – 2012

Many individuals have stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to continue to strive to achieve the words and symbols enshrined in this great memorial.

On this day and for each tomorrow, we stand together and continue to live and die for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that all are created equal and we can live in a country where we are free to express our views without fears of repercussions.

Let us continue to dream that it will be the content of our character and not the color or shape of our skin that unites us.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Monday, January 19, 2015 – Dr. Martin Luther King Day – Let Freedom Ring

Monday, January 19, 2015 – Dr. Martin Luther King Day – Let Freedom Ring

Before I begin I forgot to shout out to CSE whose birthday was also January 13.  Hope it was a good one.

Remember when the Sears stores were called Sears and Roebuck?

Today is the celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King.  His date of birth is January 15 but it was moved during the Ronald Reagan administration as one of the floating federal holidays.

Every year on his birthday I either read or listen (usually both) to his I Have a Dream Speech. The Reverend King delivered the speech at The Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

I read the speech and view it in the context of our nation today fifty-two years later. It saddens me literally to tears. While we have made great strides, there is still so much to do.

I encourage you to listen to and/or read the speech in its entirety. It is as powerful today as it was in 1963. I pulled out a few key words and phrases that I try to live by on a daily basis.

“…judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

In light of Ferguson, Missouri and other places, this sentence rang especially hard this year. “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

And of course there is the powerful the closing line.

“When we allow freedom to ring—when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-might, We are free at last.”

I remember learning the following lines in high school. The poem was written by the English poet Richard Lovelace. In fact, I once knew the entire poem, To Althea from Prison. He wrote them while imprisoned for questioning King Charles I and the clergy. The most quoted line from the last stanza is “Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage.” Hatred, discrimination and social injustice also create prisons.

When I was small child I received a reprimand, probably a quick swat to the behind, and a lecture from my Mother for drinking from the “Colored” water fountain in the Sears and Roebuck. When my mother said, “That is the colored water fountain.” I replied, “I know. I wanted to see what color the water was.”  You know what? It is the same for everybody who wants a drink. The water and the world should be the same for everyone – FREE. Let Freedom Ring.

Richard W. Sears and Alvah C. Roebuck founded one of the best-known business partnerships in history. The firm was incorporated as Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1893. Alvah Roebuck died June 18, 1948. He was a Black man. He could not even get a drink of water at his stores in the South.