Happy Birthday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 20, 2008

Staff report

Today, Jan. 21, 2008, is the observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In observance of the national holiday, Selma City Schools and Dallas County Schools are closed. The Dallas County Courthouse and Selma City Hall will be closed.

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Thoughts of Dr. King bring images of Selma. The famous Civil Rights martyr led the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 seeking voting rights for all. His work, with the help of foot soldiers of the movement, led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Selma-Dallas County Public Library is closed. The Valley Grande City Hall is also closed, and the regularly scheduled meeting of the city council has been moved to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Dr. King was shot and killed on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., by an assassin. On Nov. 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a Bill establishing the third Monday in January as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national Holiday.

Jackson reflects on King&8217;s stay at her home



Her living room hasn&8217;t been rearranged since the 1960s.

Her dining room still has the same furnishings. The very chair Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sat in as he met with Dr. Ralph Bunche and Dr. Benjamin E. Mays are still in place.

Today&8217;s observance of Dr. Martin Luther King&8217;s birthday brings back those memories. She and her late husband, Dr. Sullivan Jackson, hosted the Kings at their Lapsley Street home on numerous occasions.

A retired educator, Jackson recalls those days even more vividly this time of year. It&8217;s approaching the fourth anniversary of her husband&8217;s death. King and the longtime dentist had birthdays just days apart. Her late husband&8217;s birthday is Wednesday, Feb. 23.

She has in her possession never seen before photos of the civil rights leader in her home. Jackson has written a book that will contain the photos, and is wrapping up a documentary through the Alabama Department of Archives and History.