Tomorrow is the actual birth date of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s national holiday honoring the civil rights leader happens to precede, by 24 hours, the inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States. Since Monday I have found the level of excitement within me rising exponentially each day. I look forward to commemorating the three-day holiday weekend thinking about how far our country has progressed since Dr. King led the 1955 Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott. I will also be thinking of next Tuesday’s inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama. Inducting the first African-American US President a day after the national MLK Holiday is just incredible and will mark the beginning of a new world.
As I think of the MLK national holiday and Obama’s inauguration, I can’t help but recognized a few additional connections between the two occasions. It’s interesting to note that Inauguration Day has been held on January 20th since 1937 and the first federally recognized MLK holiday occurred on January 20, 1986. Another interesting fact is that Illinois, the state that elected Barack Obama its US Senator, is the first state in 1973 to adopt MLK Day as a state holiday.
Underneath my extreme enthusiasm I am realistic enough to know that the world is not truly going to change overnight. However, the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States is a sign that our country is moving in the right direction. Any thing is possible if we dare to continue to dream, just like Dr. King dreamed of a better day.
(Image courtesy of ObamaBling.com.)