"I Have A Dream"
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character...
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama ... will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death did not slow the Civil Rights Movement. Black and white people continued to fight for freedom and equality. Coretta Scott King is the widow (вдова) of the civil rights leader. In 1970, she established the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. This "living memorial" consists of his boyhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King is buried.
On Monday, January 20, 1986, in cities and towns across the country people celebrated the first official Martin Luther King Day, the only federal holiday commemorating an African-American. A ceremony which took place at an old railroad depot (депо) in Atlanta Georgia was especially emotional. Hundreds had gathered to sing and to march. Many were the same people who, in 1965, had marched for fifty miles between two cities in the state of Alabama to protest segregation and discrimination of black Americans.
All through the 1980's, controversy surrounded the idea of a Martin Luther King Day. Congressmen and citizens had petitioned the President to make January 15, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, a federal holiday. Others wanted to make the holiday on the day he died, while some people did not want to have any holiday at all.
January 15 had been observed as a public holiday for many years in 27 states and Washington, D.C. Finally, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Monday in January a federal legal holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday.
Schools, offices and federal agencies are closed for the holiday. On Monday there are quiet memorial services as well as elaborate ceremonies in honour of Dr. King. On the preceding Sunday, ministers of all religions give special sermons reminding everyone of Dr. King's lifelong work for peace. All weekend, popular radio stations play songs and speeches that tell the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Television channels broadcast special programs with filmed highlights of Dr. King's life and times.
Until the mid-1970s, the February 22 birthday of George Washington, hero of the Revolutionary War and first president of the United States, was a national holiday. In addition, the February 12 birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the president during the Civil War (1861-1865), was a holiday in most states.
In the 1970s, Congress declared that in order to honour all past presidents of the United States, a single holiday, to be called Presidents' Day, would be observed on the third Monday in February. In many states, however, the holiday continues to be known as George Washington's birthday. Until 1971, both February 12 and February 22 were observed as federal public holidays to honour the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22).
In 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal public holiday, the Presidents' Day, to be observed on the third Monday of February, honouring all past president of the United States of America.
"...As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy"
"If we do not make common cause to save the good old ship of the Union on this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage"
Of all the presidents in the history of the United State, Abraham Lincoln is probably the one that Americans remember the best and with deepest affection. His childhood in the frontier of Indiana set the course for his character and motivation later in life. He brought a new honesty and integrity to the White House. He would always be remembered as "honest Abe." Most of all, he is associated with the final abolition of slavery (уничтожение рабства). Lincoln became a virtual symbol of the American dream whereby an ordinary person from humble beginnings could reach the pinnacle (вершины) of society as president of the country.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky, and spent the first seven years of his life there. They were difficult years in which Thomas Lincoln, Abe's father tried to make a living as a carpenter (плотник) and farmer. The Lincolns moved from farm to farm around Kentucky, until 1816, when the family left to settle in Indiana. The United States was still young, and the Midwest was a wild, unsettled frontier (граница). They stopped in the middle of a forest in Spencer County, Indiana. Neighbours were few and far away, and the family lived in a three-sided shelter until Abe's father cleared enough land and built a log cabin(деревянная хижина).
Abe and his sister helped with the heavy daily tasks that came with farming. He cleared the woods for farmland with his father, and became so skilled at splitting logs that neighbours settling into the Indiana territory paid him to split logs. At the time, he confessed