Today, Jan. 15, 2018, minister, leader, Nobel Prize winner, student, teacher, and family man Martin Luther King Jr. would be celebrating his 89th birthday. If he had lived to see his 40th birthday. This April will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
Although much has changed and just as equally remains unchanged, in the five decades following his death, the words and influence of Dr. King are visible in some aspects of our world today. As some have said, in their reflective speeches on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there is much to be gained, learned, and utilized by heeding the words and actions of Dr. King.
On this day, we reflect on statements of mindful action of Dr. King, as well as a few examples of memorabilia with a connection to this unequaled leader.
“Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
~Dr. King, from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
This example of one of a set of eight note cards, with notes written by Dr. King, is the speech he gave in December of 1959 as he said goodbye to the congregation at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Dr. King vacated the position of the church’s minister for the full-time appointment as the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The set of notes sold for $31,250 during an October 2013 auction at Heritage Auctions.
“…we have been forced to a point where we’re going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn’t force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence.”
~Dr. King, from his I See the Promised Land speech, 1968
Photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lawrence Spivak, on the set of the television program “Meet the Press,” of which Mr. Spivak was the host when Dr. King appeared in 1960. The photograph commanded $8,000 at auction in 2010 through Profiles in History. Dr. King inscribed the photo: “To Lawrence Spivak, with great respect and admiration, Martin Luther King, Jr.”
“There is a power in love that our world has not discovered yet. “
!Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his Loving Your Enemies speech, 1957
During his life, five books written by Dr. King were published, according to information obtained from The King Center website. They are: “Strive Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story,” “Strength to Love,” “Why We Can’t Wait,” “Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community?” and “The Trumpet of Conscience.”
In November of 2017, during an auction at MBA Seattle Auction, a signed copy of “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community,” sold for $1,100.
For more information about Dr. King, visit www.thekingcenter.org.