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Monday, January 16, 2017
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the more vocal, charismatic and effective leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
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Today's Random Fact:
In the early 1900s, black people began to protest the Jim Crow laws that southern states were implementing to enforce segregation. Several African-American leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells joined together to found the NAACP in 1909. Another leader, Booker T. Washington, helped to form schools to educate African-Americans in order to improve their status in society.
The civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1950s when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in schools was illegal in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. Federal troops were brought in to Little Rock, Arkansas to allow the Little Rock Nine to attend a previously all white high school.
The 1950's and early 1960's brought about several major events in the fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for over a year and brought Martin Luther King, Jr. to the forefront of the movement. King led a number of non-violent protests including the Birmingham Campaign and the March on Washington.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. This act outlawed segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the south. It also outlawed discrimination based on race, national background, and gender. Although there were still many issues, this law gave the NAACP and other organizations a strong base on which to fight discrimination in the courts.
"Abraham, Martin and John" is a 1968 song written by Dick Holler and first recorded by Dion. It is a tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans, all icons of social change, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. It was written in response to the assassination of King and that of Robert Kennedy in April and June 1968, respectively.