Events will mark 90th birth­day of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Modesto Bee - - Front Page - BY JOHN HOL­LAND jhol­[email protected]­ John Hol­land: 209-578-2385

Gath­er­ings in Modesto, Sonora and Merced will mark the 90th birth­day of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in mid-Jan­uary. An­other event, the an­nual ob­ser­vance at Modesto Ju­nior Col­lege, will wait un­til March be­cause the speaker is heav­ily booked.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in At­lanta and as­sas­si­nated on April 4, 1968, in Mem­phis. The na­tional hol­i­day this year is Mon­day, Jan. 21.

The events will re­call King’s work against racism, poverty and war dur­ing his 39 years on Earth. The de­tails:

Modesto, Fri­day, Jan. 18: The Rev. Jeremiah Wil­liams, a lo­cal busi­ness­man and civic leader, will speak at the 26th an­nual lun­cheon at the King-Kennedy Me­mo­rial Cen­ter.

Wil­liams owns Oak Crafts by Jeremiah, a cab­i­net shop on Sev­enth Street, and vol­un­teers for many lo­cal causes.

The lun­cheon will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tick­ets are $20 at the door. The cen­ter is at 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive.

Sonora, Sun­day, Jan. 20: The 24th an­nual event will fea­ture a panel dis­cus­sion on poverty in the Mother Lode.

It will in­clude two peo­ple from CHIPS, a group work­ing to cre­ate jobs and re­duce wild­fires by putting for­est thin­nings to use. They are for­mer Calav­eras County Su­per­vi­sor Steve Wilen­sky and Irvin Jim, chairman of the Wood­fords Com­mu­nity Coun­cil of the Washoe Tribe in Alpine County.

Also on the panel are Mark Dyken, direc­tor of the Jamestown School Re­source Cen­ter, and Margie Bulkin, re­tired Tuolumne County school su­per­in­ten­dent and cur­rent board mem­ber with the Yosemite Com­mu­nity Col­lege District.

The free gath­er­ing will start at 2 p.m. in the Sonora High School au­di­to­rium, 430 N. Wash­ing­ton St. It also will in­clude mu­sic, a prize-win­ning stu­dent es­say and pre­sen­ta­tion of the first Lau­rie Aret­sky Bailie Social Jus­tice Award. It will go to Jeanette Lambert, founder of the Lambert Drop In Cen­ter for home­less peo­ple in Sonora.

Modesto, Mon­day Jan. 21: The 31st an­nual ob­ser­vance at Chris­tian Love Bap­tist Church will wel­come back pas­tor Lon­nie An­der­son, who was born in Modesto and now leads a church in In­di­ana. He was men­tored in his youth by Chris­tian Love pas­tor James An­der­son, no re­la­tion, who died last year.

Lon­nie An­der­son first preached in Bak­ers­field and went on to at­tend Selma Univer­sity in Alabama. He served at churches in Selma and Mar­ion, Alabama, and now is at Mt. Pis­gah Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Church in Kokomo, In­di­ana.

The free event will start at 10 a.m. and fea­ture mu­sic and other ac­tiv­i­ties. Chris­tian Love is at 202 H St.

Merced, Mon­day, Jan. 21: The 23rd an­nual event will start with an 11 a.m. march from the Merced County Fair­grounds, at Eighth Street and Martin Luther King Way.

The march will end at the Art Kar­man­gar Theatre on Main Street, where a noon pro­gram will be held with the theme: “Re­cap­ture the dream, yes­ter­day, to­day and to­mor­row.”

Modesto, Satur­day, March 30: Noted author Michael Eric Dyson will speak at the 24th an­nual com­mem­o­ra­tion in the au­di­to­rium on the MJC East Cam­pus, 435 Col­lege Ave.

Dyson is a so­ci­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and a Bap­tist min­is­ter. His 19 books in­clude “Come Hell or High Wa­ter: Hur­ri­cane Katrina and the Color of Dis­as­ter” and “The Black Pres­i­dency: Barack Obama and the Pol­i­tics of Race in Amer­ica.”

The event will start at 7 p.m. More de­tails will be pro­vided later.


On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was as­sas­si­nated in Mem­phis. He is seen here as he ad­dressed a rally on the eve of his death.

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