Planning first national King Day celebration
Coretta Scott King is traveling across the United States these days inviting Americans to join her next Jan. 20 in the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ``I want the first national celebration of Martin's birthday to be a day of unity,'' Dr. King's widow said as she visited Boston recently.
``This holiday will be a coming together for Americans, the spirit that Martin lived for. Americans will rededicate themselves to the principles of nonviolence by which Martin lived,'' she said.
A week-long celebration is planned Jan. 12-20, featuring a march and rally led by Mrs. King in Atlanta, Dr. King's birthplace, and the dedication of a bust of Dr. King in the rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington.
Mrs. King is chairman of a 31-member King Federal Holiday Commission, charged by President Reagan to make the holiday ``a celebration of freedom and justice which will unite all our citizens.'' The Holiday theme will be ``Living the Dream.''
The commission is cosponsoring the first national legal observance of Dr. King's birthday together with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.
At the commission's most recent meeting, Mrs. King was the first person to sign ``The Living the Dream Pledge,'' a commitment to live Dr. King's dream ``by loving, not hating; showing understanding, not anger; making peace, not war.''
Among those signing the pledge were Senate majority leader Robert Dole (R) of Kansas and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts. The US Information Agency will distribute pledge cards for people to sign around the world.
On her tour Mrs. King lists three goals: