As January ushers in another year, it is the perfect time for both looking back - and looking forward. 

On the 15th we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- America's holiday honoring one of our most influential and iconic leaders of the civil rights movement. This holiday was proposed 4 days after his death in 1968...and was passed by Congress in 1983, reminding us that great achievements take time, determination and refusal to give up. 

Martin Luther King never gave up - and for his lifetime of service and dedication to the American Civil Rights Movement he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Though assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel - his legacy lives on.  The site is now home to the National Civil Right Museum.

Looking forward - Plan to attend the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at the First Methodist 
Church of Media, at State and Lemon Streets on January 14th.
First Methodist Church of Media, PA

  • It starts at 3:45pm and honors the life and work of Dr. King
  • Keynote Speaker is Laurie L. Levenson, Esq., Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Legal Advocacy at Loyaloa Law School of Loyola Marymount University. The Professor lectures throughout the country and has been legal commentator for CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC and NPR.
  • The event introduces THE SPIRIT HALL OF FAME: honoring Americans who have lived within the past 100 years, and have walked in the steps Dr. King, emulating his qualities of loyalty, leadership, integrity, honesty, and courage. The first 10 inductees will be announced, accompanied by posters, illustrated and designed by artist George Rothacker, along with bios of each of those selected. A reception will be hosted in Fellowship Hall by the Media Area Unit NAACP following the celebration.

Early coca cola logo and bottle.

Looking back...we use the date of his holiday, January 15th -- to highlight other events that also helped shape, grow or challenge our nation:

•1815: Four British ships capture the USS President – an American frigate that was commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur during the War of 1812.
•1844: Indiana gives the University of Notre Dame its charter on this day.
•1870: For the first time, a political cartoon shows a donkey as a symbol of the Democratic Party in Harper’s Weekly.
•1889: The Pemberton Medicine Company is incorporated in the city of Atlanta in Georgia on this day. This company would later become the Coca-Cola Company.
•1892: The rules to the game of basketball are published by James Naismith on this day.
•1910: Construction on the highest dam in the world – at least at the time – finishes when the Buffalo Bill Dam located in Wyoming is finished. It was named after the famous Wild West Figure Wm. "Buffalo Bill" Cody who owned much of the land now covered by the reservoir. 

Buffalo Bill Dam in Wyoming
•1919: Twenty-one people are killed and another one hundred and fifty are wounded when a wave of molasses suddenly escapes from an exploding storage tank and floods down through the streets of Boston in Massachusetts.
•1936: The first all-glass building – constructed for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company – is finished on this day in Toledo, Ohio.
•1943: Dedication ceremonies for the Pentagon are held in Arlington, Virginia.
•1947: The dismembered corpse of Elizabeth Short is discovered in Los Angeles. The murder would be known as the Black Dahlia Murder Case.
Soyuz 5 Astronaut Patch
•1967: Super Bowl 1 is played in L.A. In this first super bowl game, the Kansas City Chiefs are defeated by the Green Bay Packers. The final score is 35-10.
•1969: The Soyuz 5 is launched by the Soviet Union, which docked with Soyuz 4 in orbit. It was the first-ever docking of two manned spacecraft of any nation, and the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another of any nation – two months before the US Apollo 9 mission performed the first ever internal crew transfer.
•1976: The 45-year old woman who attempted to assassinate U.S President Gerald Ford is given a life sentence. In 2007, she was paroled from prison after serving 32-years.