Executive Order No. 20 (2018) -

Executive Order No. 20 (2018)

Order of Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Passing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Issued: April 3, 2018.

Effective: April 3, 2018.

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the foremost civil rights leaders in American history, and his tireless efforts to fight the evils of segregation and discrimination changed the fabric of our nation; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, where he attended segregated public schools and became an accomplished student, finishing high school in only two years; and

WHEREAS, entering Morehouse College at the age of 15, Dr. King obtained a B.A. in sociology from Morehouse in 1948, and thereafter enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary, from which he would graduate with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King received his Ph.D. from Boston University in 1955; and

WHEREAS, in late 1955, Dr. King rose to national prominence as a leader of the Montgomery bus boycott following the arrest of Rosa Parks for her refusal to give up her seat on a public bus for a white passenger; and

WHEREAS, in 1957, Dr. King helped establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the most prominent and active civil rights organizations in the United States, and worked tirelessly with the organization to coordinate demonstrations against segregation and institutional racism throughout the civil rights era; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, two of the most significant pieces of legislation to ever be signed into law in the United States; and

WHEREAS, while Dr. King's individual accomplishments are too numerous to list, his delivery of the famed "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in 1963, which calls for an end to racial inequality in America, serves as an illustrative example of Dr. King's leadership and resonates to this day; and

WHEREAS, throughout his work as a civil rights leader, Dr. King was attacked, threatened with violence, arrested and jailed in attempts to silence him and hinder the movement which he led, but Dr. King nonetheless remained undeterred in the face of systemic and often violent opposition to his work; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King's life was cut short on April 4, 1968, when he was fatally shot in Memphis, Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King lives on in the ideals for which he stood and the progress towards equality in America that we have made and must continue to make; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate to honor the memory of Dr. King and his impact on American society, and to mark the 50th Anniversary of his passing;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published April 19, 2010 in the New Jersey Register at 42 N.J.R. 752(a). Published March 29, 2018 in the New Jersey Register at 50 N.J.R. 1189(b).)

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