On November 2, 1983, Republican President Ronald Reagan signed the bill in the White House Rose Garden making the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a national holiday. The bill first came up for a vote in 1979, but the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives refused to pass the legislation. The first national celebration of the holiday in honor of Dr. King took place on January 20, 1986 and is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January. In his remarks on signing the bill Reagan said: “Dr. King had awakened something strong and true, a sense that true justice must be colorblind, and that among white and black Americans, as he put it, ‘Their destiny is tied up with our destiny, and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom; we cannot walk alone.'”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission with the mission of overseeing the observance of the MLK holiday was created in the bill signed by Reagan.
In May 1989, Coretta Scott King was made a member of the commission for life by Republican President George H. W. Bush.
Democrats today are trying to usurp Dr. King’s legacy, when it was the Democrats who Dr. King was fighting. See the below article for details.
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Democrats Smeared Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960’s
By Frances Rice
Character assassination. That’s the tactic used by Democrats in the 1960’s to discredit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Republican who was fighting the Democrats and trying to stop them from denying civil rights to blacks.
The relentless disparagement of Dr. King by Democrats led to his being physically assaulted and ultimately to his tragic death. In March of 1968, while referring to Dr. King’s leaving Memphis, Tennessee after riots broke out where a teenager was killed, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, called Dr. King a “trouble-maker” who starts trouble, but runs like a coward after trouble is ignited. A few weeks later, Dr. King returned to Memphis and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Prior to his death, Democrats bombed Dr. King’s home several times. The scurrilous efforts by the Democrats to harm Dr. King included spreading rumors that he was a Communist and accusing him of being a womanizer and a plagiarist.
An egregious act against Dr. King occurred on October 10, 1963. With the approval of Democrat President John F. Kennedy, Democrat Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy – President Kennedy’s brother – authorized the wiretapping of Dr. King’s telephone by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Wiretaps were placed by the FBI on the telephones in Dr. King’s home and office. The FBI also bugged Dr. King’s hotel rooms when he traveled around the country.
The trigger for this unsavory wiretapping was apparently Dr. Kings’ criticism of the Kennedy Administration, according to the author David Garrow in his book, “Bearing the Cross”. The justification given by the Kennedy Administration publicly was that two of Dr. King’s associates, including David Levinson, had ended their association with the Communist Party in order to work undercover and influence Dr. King. However, after years of continuous and extensive wiretapping, the FBI found no direct links of Dr. King to the Communist Party.
The unrelenting efforts by Democrats to tarnish Dr. King’s reputation continued for years after his death. To his credit, Republican President Ronald Reagan ignored the Democrats’ smear campaign and made Dr. King’s Birthday a holiday.
Today, while professing to revere Dr. King, Democrats are still trying to tarnish his image by making remarks that diminish his civil rights achievements and continuing to claim that Dr. King embraced Communism – a system that is secularist and socialist.
In reality, Dr. King was a Christian who held deeply religious beliefs and was guided by his faith and his Republican Party principles in his struggle to gain equality for blacks. He did not embrace the type of socialist, secularist agenda that is promoted by the Democrat Party today, which includes fostering dependency on welfare that breaks up families, supporting same-sex marriage and banning God from the public square.
An understanding of who the real Dr. King was can be gained from a glimpse of Dr. King as a young man who participated in an oratorical contest when he was 14 years old. The title of his speech was “The Negro and the Constitution” which had the following sentences: “We cannot have an enlightened democracy with one great group living in ignorance…We cannot be truly Christian people so long as we flout the central teachings of Jesus: brotherly love and the Golden Rule….”
If Dr. King were still alive, he would be slandered by Democrats in the same way that they smeared him in the 1960’s and demean all black Republicans today.
Bio: Frances Rice is a lawyer, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association. She can be contacted at: www.NBRA.info/