The observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is officially on Monday, but some Meridian area residents and Meridian Community College got a jump on the celebration Friday morning.
The tribute marked the life and dreams that Dr. King had, and looked forward to continuing to share his dream.
As Mississippi state Sen. Alice Harden put it, ''to transform the dangling discords of a nation into a beautiful harmony.''
"I think as Mississippians we continue to work to fulfill the dream and the legacy of Dr. King," said harden, who represents District 28 in Hinds County. "Each of us must make a personal commitment to try to do as best as we can to live out the legacy."
Two young women from Meridian area schools wrote essays about Sharing the Dream.
Alona Harper, a St. Patrick's student, and Corsica Wade, a Carver Middle School student, read their words aloud of how America has to wake up to realize the dream for everyone.
Harden added that we only have a short time to make a contribution.
"I think that one person can make a difference because each of us in our own way can in fact do the little things that it takes to make our world a better place for all of us to live," said Sen. Harden.
The message is to keep pressing on, remembering the past, but always moving forward and seizing the moment for the opportunities it may present.
"The work and the effort that Dr. King put into making this country a better place, it should be remembered," said Va'Ronica Hill, a nursing student at MCC. "We should be grateful for it."
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Timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life
- Michael King, later known as Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929.
- September 20, 1944, King began his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
- August 6, 1946, the Atlanta Constitution published King's letter to the editor stating that black people "are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens."
- In January and February of 1947 King's article, "The Purpose of Education" was published in the Morehouse student paper, the Maroon Tiger.
- 1948 was a busy year for Martin Luther King, Jr. In February he was ordained and appointed as the assistant pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
- In June of 1948, King received his B.A. in Sociology from Morehouse College.
- In September that same year he began his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Penn.
- May 1951, King graduated from Crozer with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, and delivered the Valedictory Address at commencement.
- In September of 1951, he began his graduate studies in systematic theology at Boston University.
- On June 18, 1953, Martin Luther King, Jr. married Coretta Scott near Marion, Ala.
- February 28, 1954, King delivers the sermon, "Rediscovering Lost Values" at the Second Baptist Church in Detroit.
- On September 1, 1954, King begins his pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.
- June 5, 1955 Martin Luther King earns his PhD. in Systematic Theology from Boston University.
- On December 5, 1955 King becomes the president of MIA, the Montgomery Improvement Association.
- In February of 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared on the cover of Time magazine, as Time’s Man of the Year.
- During the spring of 1963, King and his staff guided mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local white police officials were known from their anti-black attitudes.
- Subsequent mass demonstrations in many communities culminated in a march on August 28, 1963, that attracted more than 250,000 protesters to Washington, D. C. Addressing the marchers from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" oration.
- In December of 1964, King was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while seeking to assist a garbage workers' strike in Memphis.
- He died revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf of non-violence, and condemned by others for his militancy and insurgent views.
Source: http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/ (The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University)