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Watch: President Joe Biden speaks at MLK’s church in Atlanta, on his birthday

Courtesy President Joe Biden White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The federal holiday for MLK day fell on Monday, January 16, 2023, as it is celebrated on the third Monday in January. However, Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. President Joe Biden commemorated the day with an address at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Atlanta, Georgia, the church in which the revered leader was the pastor. Biden became the first sitting president who spoke at the Sunday Service.

Speaking at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor, Biden said, “I’ve spoken before Parliament, kings and queens, leaders all over the world.” He said that he had been speaking before leaders for a long time. However, he added, ” This is intimidating.”

On what would have been 94th birthday of MLK, Biden said that it was a “time of choosing” and that it was necessary “to choose community over chaos.”

President Biden spoke about MLK’s faith and more and called the late reverend one of his heroes. He also said of King, “His mission was…spiritual. It was moral” and more. However, he also added a few political elements in his speech as he spoke about the choices that were in front of the American people.

Senator Raphael Warnock, the Democrat who recently won the Georgia election against scandal ridden celebrity footballer Herschel Walker, is also a senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist church. He spoke before Biden. Earlier, Warnock had said that he was “honored” that the president would be speaking at the “spiritual home” of Martin Luther King Jr.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a worship service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Sunday, January 15, 2023, in Atlanta. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. He remained the pastor of the Atlanta church until he was killed, at the age of 39. He campaigned for economic justice as well as for workers’ rights. He wanted racial segregation to end by using nonviolent means. He was a powerful orator and is known for his “I have a dream…” speech.

Although there had been a call for declaring his birthday as a federal holiday after his assassination, legislation was passed in 1983 that declared that the third Monday in January would be marked as Martin Luther King day.

Photo Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King is considered to be the most influential among civil rights leaders of the sixties. He was the major leader behind the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Despite his early death, his life continues to be celebrated with marches, parades, speeches and conferences on civil rights and liberties and more.

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