Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday was celebrated at Wartburg College by the wife of another renowned civil rights activist, who was also slain.
Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evers, gave a stirring address to a full house at the Waverly, Iowa, school. Evers-Williams, now chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People board of directors, said she looks to past leaders such as King for inspiration and motivation.
"King not only had a dream but he worked to make his dream a reality, and therein lies his greatness," she said.
The clock is being turned back to a time of discrimination and racism, Evers-Williams said, and if Evers and King were alive today, she believes they would be doing everything they could to fight for civil rights.
Her own fight against racism began with her marriage at 18 to Evers. Reluctant to put her family in any further danger after Evers was gunned down in their driveway in 1963, Evers-Williams moved her family to California. The movie Ghosts of Mississippi portrays her struggle to bring Evers' murderer to justice.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers