about Martin Luther King, Jr.: "If the King of 1955 or 1965 were alive today, he would be accused of treason for his pacifism, as he was reviled for 'Communism' then; instead of the FBI trying to bring him down, he, and most of his associates, would be prosecutable under new anti-terrorism statutes." I'm not sure that statement is entirely true, but it does show the contrast between an established national holiday and his once outsider status as someone bringing about fundamental unwanted changes in our government. Recent laws have been passed to make sure things don't change. And from what I've seen on the news today, this holiday is not a celebration of peaceful civil disobediance; King's most powerful tool for change.
His final speech always brings tears to my eyes, and I remember vividly where I was when I first heard it on the radio. If you don't have time to read all of it, scroll down to the section that begins, "It came out in the New York Times..." Of course it's much more moving to hear him speak the words. (The last audio file on this page contains a brief section of the speech.)