2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Jordan, Jackson (11th), Harden, Jackson (32nd), Walls, Butler, Frazier, Simmons, Nunnelee, Gollott, Browning, Dearing, Tollison, Thames, Wilemon, Jackson (15th), Lee (35th), Moffatt, Williamson, Pickering, Thomas, Albritton, Chaney, Morgan, Dawkins, King, Horhn, Clarke, Little, Posey, Ross, White

Senate Concurrent Resolution 559

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Coretta Scott King, the wife of United States civil rights pioneer, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., died on Tuesday, January 31, 2006, at the age of 78; and

     WHEREAS, Coretta Scott King was a beacon of light and defender of truth and righteousness.  She touched many lives and we will never forget her tireless efforts to advance the dream and vision of equality and justice for all people; and

     WHEREAS, born in Marion, Alabama, on April 27, 1927, Coretta Scott graduated as Valedictorian of her high school class and attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  She received a B.A. in music and education and then studied concert singing at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she received a degree in voice and violin; and

     WHEREAS, while there, she met a Theology student from Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King, Jr., who was pursuing a  Doctorate at Boston University.  They married on June 18, 1953, in her hometown of Marion.  As the young pastor began his civil rights work in Montgomery, Alabama, Coretta Scott King worked closely with him, organizing marches and sit-ins at segregated restaurants while raising their four children:  Yolanda Denise, Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott and Bernice Albertine; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. King performed in "Freedom Concerts," singing and reading poetry to raise money for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization which Dr. King led as its first president; and

     WHEREAS, the family endured the beating, stabbing and jailing of Dr. King.  When her husband was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968, just prior to a planned march, Mrs. King organized his funeral, then went to Memphis and finished the march.  She was a staunch freedom fighter; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. King turned her grief into the nurturing of her husband's legacy.  The year her husband was killed, she established The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  A year later, she published her memoir, "My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr."  She spoke out on behalf of racial and economic justice, women's and children's rights, gay and lesbian dignity, religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless, full employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and ecological sanity; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. King and three of her children were arrested in 1985 while protesting apartheid at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C.; and

     WHEREAS, apart from creating and running the foundation, she also led the campaign to make Martin Luther King's January 15th birthday a national holiday in the United States, which Congress supported, and the first national observance of the holiday took place in 1986; and

     WHEREAS, Coretta Scott King would want Mississippi to continue this march toward progress when it comes to disability rights, women's rights, civil rights - and not retreat from it; and

     WHEREAS, our prayers are with her family and friends as they go through this difficult time.  Our thanks is to God, who blessed us with a treasure in earthen vessels in the woman who was Coretta Scott King.  May she rest in peace and may we all do our part to honor her life and legacy with our words and actions:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby express the sympathy of the Legislature on the death of Coretta Scott King, the "First Lady of Civil Rights" and wife of Civil Rights pioneer, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and celebrate her life and legacy as an unwavering advocate of civil and human rights and a champion of nonviolence which is to be admired and emulated.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a certified copy of this resolution be forwarded by the Secretary of State to the President of the United States and to the members of Mississippi's congressional delegation, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.