Friday, April 04, 2008

40 Years Ago Today

As you may or may not know, the day before he was assasinated, Rev. King spoke at the Mason Temple in Memphis, delivering what is commonly referred to as the "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech.

Toward the end of the speech, Dr. King made prophetic comments that foreshadowed his quickly impending death:
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Try to take some time today to read and reflect on this imperfect man who did some remarkable things.


At April 4, 2008 at 2:59 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for sharing. There are many MLK stories with which I am very familiar, this however was not one of them. In case anyone wanted to revisit his most famous, here's the audio and video.

P.S. I learned of this blog by the recent post on Illinois Issues regarding Blogging and Politics. I would like to thank you, Rep Fritchey, for taking the time to maintain this site. I'd like to think many legislators will follow suit in the years to come.

At April 4, 2008 at 7:19 PM, Blogger Levois said...

Thanks for mentioning this on your blog. This is one man Americans can look to as an example of an ordinary or imperfect man (or woman) doing extraordinary things. Hopefully a lot of people who can see an opportunity in making positive changes in their communities or where ever may look at Dr. King's life & legacy and they might be able to do the same.

At April 4, 2008 at 8:40 PM, Blogger Rep. John Fritchey said...


Thanks for the support, I appreciate it.

At April 4, 2008 at 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MLK Jr. was assassinated on the Thursday night before Good Friday in 1968, and my brother (your Chief of Staff), my mother and father and I flew into Washington DC to celebrate Easter with our grandmother on Friday morning. I can recall like yesterday the barbed wire around the White House, the smoke from the riots, the burned out Safeway we drove by, and the military vehicles in full battle readiness powering down the Beltway.
I can recall clearly hearing the speeches of Martin Luther King on the radio, remember both the anxiety and the excitement of the times, and still feel not only the loss of innocence but the awakening of a political and socially aware life to come with his loss. Not sure what Les remembers, maybe you could ask him for me.

At April 5, 2008 at 10:59 AM, Anonymous Les (your brother Paul) said...

What an extraordinary time. I, too, remember dad driving us through the post-riot areas just to “see” what had happened, and our poor mom sitting in the front seat saying that we’d better not be taking pictures for fear of someone attacking us (the white family in the car). But I do recall one of the few pictures we took, the black and white Kodak of the burnt-out Safeway store, probably in a suitcase in the attic somewhere.

Soldiers with rifles on every street corner. A five o’clock curfew. I remember dad explaining how we needed to cross the D.C. border after curfew to go back to our Grandmother Miss Mary’s apartment at Army Distaff Hall. (She was, of course it must be said, the only Navy widow in residence at the time.) The soldier let us pass.

There was also the great childhood disappointment in not being able to climb the 897 steps to the top of the Washington Monument, something Kip and I had been planning to do – but the Monument was closed to the public. Seemingly insignificant, but to a kid - hey.

Later that summer, during Miss Mary’s annual visit to Seattle I recall watching the 1968 National Democratic Convention on her little black and white T.V. The Chicago riots, police beating civilians, and my brother becoming physically ill at the violence.

Today, I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune noting that the peace symbol turned 50 yesterday. “Said its creator, British graphic designer Gerald Holtom: “I drew myself…a man in despair…put a circle around it to represent the world.”

With all of that in mind, what better time than now to say, “Yes we can.”

At April 5, 2008 at 4:52 PM, Anonymous DuPage Saint said...

Greatest speach I ever heard was Robert Kennedy when he heard of Kings's murder. What a time and what great speakers what a loss. Saddest words are what might have been

At April 21, 2008 at 8:23 AM, Blogger Rep. John Fritchey said...

To the recent anonymous poster - in keeping with my practice on this blog, have the courage to resubmit your question with your name provably attached to it and I will be more than happy to answer it.


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