Today in labor history: MLK honored by Carter


Today in 1977, Martin Luther King Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.

King, Carter said, "was the conscience of his generation. He gazed upon the great wall of segregation and saw that the power of love could bring it down. From the pain and exhaustion of his fight to fulfill the promises of our founding fathers for our humblest citizens, he wrung his eloquent statement of his dream for America. He made our nation stronger because he made it better. His dream sustains us yet."

In awarding the medal, accepted by King's wife, Corretta Scot King, Carter described racial discrimination as "even more all encompassing" than polio. At the same ceremony, Dr. Jonas Salk, who discovered the vaccine for that disease, was given the same award.

"With unswerving dedication, superb courage, sensitivity, and humility and a dedication to peace, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., helped to remove this threat and this affliction," Carter said.

Photo: Wikipedia

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.


  • There were and are equally afflicting and inseparable threats to the human condition, that operate alongside segregation and within it.
    To name five: anti-communism, racism, war, imperialism, violence and repression. The great M L K talked openly of these evils consistently, interlinking them, exposing them, and resisting how these are used against workers and anti-imperialists. Moreover, M L K talked on and took direct action to counter these,
    to oppose the anti-human and anti-nature war in Vietnam, and to oppose anti-communism which afflicted modern Western Civilization, materializing in the irrational opposition of communists, communism and human rights activists, Pablo Neruda, Sean O'Casey and W. E. B. Du Bois.
    This, is the mature King, the King of the African and all peoples, the M L K of"superb courage".
    M L K's legacy will continue to remove these, all, including violence, imperialism, racism and anti-communism.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 07/12/2012 3:05pm (4 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments