Massachusetts proclaimed January 15 "Martin Luther King Day," and paid solemn tribute to the slain civil rights leader on the anniversary of his birth. King would have been 41 yesterday.
In Boston, the City Council officially designated yesterday "Human Rights Day" in honor of King, and Sen. Edward Brooke Jr. (R-Mass) eulogized King at a joint session of the State House and Senate.
Brooke has also asked Congress to recognize January 15 as a national holiday.
All the Boston schools remained open as usual, except for the King Middle School, which closed at noon. Businesses and social agencies social agencies in the black Roxbury- Dorchester section were closed, observing the day as an "official holiday."
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) endorsed the establishment of January 15 as a memorial to Dr. King in a statement from Washington: "We cannot let his memory pass into history without the full affirmation of our intent to continue his struggle."
Although there was no official national observance, public schools in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Harrisburg, Pa., were closed.
Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York led 10,000 people in a parade up Broadway for an anniversary rally, Lindsay joined seven other mayors in giving the day official designation.
Silent vigils, speeches, concerts, and special services were held in communities throughout the nation, even in areas taking no official note of the day. Many of the ceremonies carried anti-war overtones.
The Vietnam Moratorium Committee observed yesterday as "Moratorium Day," focusing on Dr. King's strong opposition to the war and his philosophy of nonviolence.