Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Connections To Participating Schools & Cadets Aboard The TS Kennedy

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. The federal holiday was approved in 1983.  By 2000, all 50 states made it a state government holiday.  Each year, the holiday is observed on the third Monday of January.   

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s.  He organized non-violent protests to fight for the rights of all people, including African Americans.  King dreamed that America and the entire world would be a society where people from all races would be treated equally.  

As the holiday is observed aboard the TS Kennedy and back on land, we would like to give a shoutout to second grade students that are participating from Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School in Dorchester, MassachusettsDorchester is Boston’s largest and most diverse neighborhood

ML King school
The school building was built in 1937.  It was originally named the Patrick T. Campbell School. Campbell had served as a distinguished headmaster at Boston Latin School and the Superintendent Of Schools. The school was renamed on April 11, 1968 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who had been assassinated the previous week on April 4th.

ML King on steps of school
On April 22, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a crowd on the front steps of the Patrick T. Campbell School.  Today, this school is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School.  Second grade students from the school are participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program.

King considered Boston his second home.  He met his wife Coretta Scott King in the city.  Boston is also where he earned his Ph. D. in Theology from Boston University.

plaque on Martin Luther King's house
Martin Luther King, Jr. lived at 397 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston from 1952 to 1953 while he was enrolled in the Graduate School of Boston University’s School of Theology.  This plaque was placed on the building in 1989 to mark the 60th anniversary of King’s birth. 

ML King and Coretta
Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott met in Boston in the early 1950s. Scott was studying opera at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Aboard the TS Kennedy are two cadets from Dorchester, 4/C Brian Sullivan (FENG) and 4/C Guery Ortega (MTRA).  There are also two cadets aboard the TS Kennedy from Boston, 4/C Timothy Shea (MTRA) and 3/C Ethan Somers (MENG).

Martin Luther King, Jr. also had close ties to other schools participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program

King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. He attended Booker T. Washington High School where he skipped two grades.

We are thrilled to have third grade and fourth grade students following from Kennedy Elementary School in Winger, GeorgiaWinder is just about an hour northeast of Atlanta, GeorgiaMartin Luther King Drive in Winder honors the civil rights leader.  There is one cadet aboard the TS Kennedy from Georgia3/C Dimitri Boozer calls McDonough, Georgia home.  McDonough is just 43 minutes southeast of Atlanta.

Kennedy elementary
Kennedy Elementary was established in 1987 and named after former principal, Murray O. Kennedy.

Following a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965Martin’s first major civil rights action was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It began when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. Parks was arrested and spent the night in jail. King worked to organize a boycott of the public transportation system in Montgomery which lasted over a year.  During that tense time, King was arrested and his house was bombed. King never wavered and finally, segregation on Montgomery buses came to an end.

ML King arrives in Montgomery
The Selma to Montgomery marches were three protest marches, held in 1965.  They were held along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital of Montgomery.

We are honored to have K-4 students participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program from Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, AlabamaThere is one cadet aboard the TS Kennedy from Alabama3/C Jackson Millican calls Irvington, Alabama home.  Irvington is approximately 43 minutes southwest of Montgomery.

Montgomery Academy outside
Montgomery Academy is an independent day school located in Montgomery, Alabama with a total enrollment of just under 900.  K-5 students attend the Lower School.  The Upper School is for student in grades 6-12.

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to organize the March On Washington. More than 250,000 people attended this march to focus attention on the importance of civil rights legislation. King and the marchers hoped to see an end to segregation in public schools, be protected from police abuse, and to pass laws that would employment discrimination.

At the march, King delivered his I Have a Dream speech, which has become one of the most famous speeches in history. Perhaps you have been asked to memorize part of the speech for a school assignment.  As a result of the March On Washington, the Civil Rights Act was passed the following year.

March on Washington
The March On Washington was held in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. 

We are happy to have 11thand 12thgrade students participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program from Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC

Gonzaga College High School
Gonzaga College High School is a private Catholic high school for boys in Washington, D.C.  The school was founded by the Jesuits in 1821 as the Washington Seminary.  It was named in honor of Aloysius Gonzaga, a 16th century Italian saint.