Navy Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 21


Story Number: NNS130104-01Release Date: 1/4/2013 3:39:00 AM
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By Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel, Navy Office of Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- As announced by NAVADMIN 001/13, the Navy will join the nation in observing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21.

Navy commands are encouraged to reflect on the recurring theme, "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off!" and increase their knowledge and awareness of Dr. King's contributions to American history and civil rights by participating in military and community events.

Dr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism during the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

Following in the footsteps of his father, King entered the Christian ministry in February 1948 at the age of 19. He was ordained at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and in 1954, upon completion of graduate studies at Boston University, he accepted a call to serve at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. While ministering there, King became an instrumental leader in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, made famous by the arrest of Rosa Parks. The boycott lasted over a year and led to the 1956 District Court ruling that racial segregation on buses was unconstitutional.

Over the course of his lifetime, King was arrested 30 separate times for his participation in civil rights activities.

Although King spent the majority of his life preaching on the issues of social justice, empowerment, love and peace, which won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, his attention and efforts also included fighting economic injustice. On April 4, 1968, King journeyed to Memphis, Tenn., to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions. While standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, King was shot and ultimately died.

In honor of King's unfinished efforts, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. The first observance was held Jan. 15, 1986, the anniversary of King's birthday. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday would be observed every year on the third Monday of January. On Aug. 23, 1994 Congress passed the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and Service Act, designating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a day of national volunteer service.

All commands are strongly encouraged to increase their knowledge and awareness of King's contributions to American history and civil rights through participation in military and community events and volunteerism within their communities and worldwide.

More information on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, including a search engine to find volunteer opportunities near you can be found online at http://www.mlkday.gov/about/serveonkingday.php.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp-diversity/.

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Sailors sing hymns during a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
120123-N-FI736-165 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 23, 2012) Sailors sing hymns during a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released)
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