45 Years Ago Today……..
Rev. King To Be Remembered Saturday, 4/6 at 11 am at MLK Park
New Britain’s Mary McLeod Bethune Club will honor the life and work of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 45th anniversary of his assassination on Saturday, April 6th at 11 a.m. at MLK Park on the corner of Smalley Street and MLK Boulevard. Mayor Tim O’Brien and club members invite the public to attendat the city park and monument to the civil rights leader.
First Saturday: DTC Coffee and Meet Up Before Observances At MLK Ceremony
Volunteers and friends of the Democratic Town Committee are invited to a coffee and volunteer meeting on Saturday, April 6th, from 9 to 11 am at Democratic Headquarters, 19 Bassett Street.
The informal meeting will be an opportunity for Democrats to meet with elected officials, plan voter registration activities and discuss the 2013 campaign. To RSVP or for more information call 860-505-8901; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us…..
From The Chair: Where Were You on the Day Rev. King Died?
The following is a 2007 post adapted from NBpoliticus.
I remember exactly where I was on April 4, 1968 — the day the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.
That week day, like many others in my senior year in high school, I drove to Bradlee’s Department store on the Lynnway in Lynn, MA to punch in for the evening shift earning some money before entering Boston University in the fall.
The news spread quickly that Thursday evening that King was dead. It didn’t take long to realize that my shift as a retail clerk would be different from the others. The store quickly emptied out. Not a customer in sight all night. No need for Mr. Silverman, the shaken and somber store manager, to send me out on outside carriage control. The bullets in Memphis were enough to bring a normal business day to a halt in Lynn and most of the nation. Just five short years before I had come home from junior high on a late summer day to watch King deliver his “I Have A Dream” speech – an event that would inspire so many of us to become active in politics and protest.
There are many good remembrances of what King said and stood for on his national holiday In January every year, but not enough is ever said on this anniversary of the day he died about his mission in Memphis. It’s worth remembering on April 4th and throughout the year why King was there on a day I will never forget.
By 1968, Rev. King was widening the concerns of his movement. In Where Do We Go From Here? King opposed a Vietnam policy that had begun to break the nation further apart. The lunchroom sit-ins and battles over accommodations and voting rights were giving way to a broader agenda. He was planning a new march on Washington – “the Poor People’s Campaign” — when he decided to take up the cause of 1,300 African-American sanitation workers in Memphis, a city of southern segregation, where the white power structure opposed the right to unionize and the mayor vowed never to bargain in good faith in a way that would give the sanitation workers their dignity. The strike and a citywide economic boycott were a cause King knew he could not ignore.
King’s prophetic “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech on the eve of the assassination is his best known from Memphis. But two weeks earlier, on March 18th, King galvanized support for strikers by saying: “So often we overlook the worth and significance of those who are not in professional jobs, or those who are not in the so-called big jobs…..One day our society will come to respect the sanitation worker if it is to survive.”
Following King’s assassination, the Memphis power structure gave up its intransigence – recognizing the union, awarding pay raises and instituting merit promotions.
King’s campaign for striking AFSCME sanitation workers reaffirmed his greatness at the hour of his death and resonates today in the cause of social and economic justice . That’s where I was and remember most from the day he died.
— John McNamara
The Town Committee will endorse candidates for city offices on July 18th including Mayor, Town and City Clerk, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Common Council (5 at large and 10 by districts), Board of Education (3), Board of Assessment Appeal (2) and Constable (4).
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Labor donated for New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050 John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara