What Did Martin Luther King Do To Earn A National Holiday?

George Washington saves the American Revolution with daring, surprise attack on German soldiers fighting for the British in Trenton, New Jersey.  December 25, 1776.

November, 1863:  Abraham Lincoln Dedicates Cemetery at Gettysburg Battlefield.  Roughly 310,000 white and 40,000 black Americans died in four years of Civil War to end slavery and give America a “new birth of freedom”.  Lincoln described this new America with these words:

Four score and seven years ago (in 1776) our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. . .   We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

For thirteen years, Dr. Martin Luther King made speeches, and organized and participated in demonstrations and economic boycotts.  His efforts and his courage helped bring equal civil rights to black Americans in southern states run by white Democrats for the first time since 1876.  For those achievements, we remember Dr. Martin Luther King with a national holiday every January.

Had Dr. King lived in many countries other than the United States, he would have been arrested, jailed, or executed for breaking the laws of those countries.  However, in America, his rights to speak and organize protests and boycotts were protected by the United States Constitution. That Constitution includes the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments adopted after four years of Civil War.  The “unalienable rights of Dr. Martin Luther King to speak and organize protests and boycotts were also protected by laws, judges, and law enforcement officers adopted and appointed to equally defend, protect, and secure those Constitutional rights for all citizens.

Many countries in the world today have similar constitutions, and recognize similar rights.  However, most of them did so only after the United States showed them how it was done.  The people of France built the Statue of Liberty (originally called “Liberty Enlightening The World”) to thank America for doing that.  Click here for previous post:  Why They Named This Statue “Liberty Enlightening The World”. – Liberty and Prosperity

Should we not also have national holidays in February to remember George Washington and Abraham Lincoln?  Could Martin Luther King have achieved what he did without building on their work?  Should we not also honor George Washington for his part in creating the United States as a nation “conceived in liberty” in 1776 and its Constitution to secure those rights for most Americans in 1787 and 1791?  Should we not also honor Abraham Lincoln for leading America through a four year Civil War to perfect that Constitution secure “unalienable rights” for all Americans between at the end of that war?

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  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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