Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Marks King Holiday on Civil Rights Tour in South, Addresses 7,000 at Birmingham Rally
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On a day steeped in civil rights movement history, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday observed the holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by marching to the South Carolina Statehouse and touring a Baptist church that was bombed here in Birmingham.
Speaking on the Capitol steps in Columbia, South Carolina, Sanders' call for racial and economic justice echoed King's twin missions to end discrimination and poverty.
Later Monday, Sanders traveled to Alabama and visited the landmark 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The senator stopped beside a plain marker along the side of the church commemorating four girls who were killed in a 1963 bomb blast at the church where King often preached.
"The vision he had for the future in many ways remains unfulfilled," Sanders said. "If we are serious about remembering his legacy, we will continue the fight for racial justice, economic justice and for a nation in which all people live with dignity. We still have a long way to go." Sanders also stopped at the Civil Rights Institute, a museum where he touched the bars of the Birmingham jail cell where King was held.
Sanders later addressed a packed nighttime rally at Birmingham's Boutwell Auditorium. There were 5,700 supporters jammed inside. Another 1,400 braved unusual sub-freezing weather to watch on a jumbo TV in an overflow area outside. "There must be a mistake. Somebody told me Alabama is a conservative state," Sanders said to loud cheers.
In his remarks at the rally, Sanders also invoked the memory of King. "To truly honor Dr. King we must fight to carry out his radical and bold vision for America. He saw the relationship between racism and economics and war. That was his courage."
Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Marks King Holiday on Civil Rights Tour in South, Addresses 7,000 at Birmingham Rally Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/314869