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A Dartmouth Man for Civil Rights

Angus.jpgThis space has long held that former Maine Governor and current U.S. Senator for Maine, Angus King ‘66, would make a fine Trustee. He was between those two offices from 2003-2012, but I guess that he didn’t have $10 million with which to buy his way onto the Board. Too bad. He would have added far greater value in outspokenness and a serious understanding of higher education than most of the current Trustee moneymen. He also could add something to the College in terms of oratory. Having participated fifty years ago in the March on Washington, he spoke at the recent commemorative ceremonies, along with Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter.

King described his own understanding of the March and the American Dream:

Fifty years ago at this place, at this sacred place, Americans sent a message to their leaders and around the world, that the promise of equality of opportunity, equality before the law, equality in the right to freely participate in the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship, applied to everyone in this country - not just the lucky few of the right color or the accident of birth. This is what Martin Luther King meant when he said that his dream was deeply rooted in the American dream.

And he quoted the fine words of a fellow Mainer, Bowdoin Professor of Rhetoric and Civil War General Joshua Chamberlain, one of the heroes of Little Round Top, on the abiding power of places where great events occurred:

In great deeds something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and past bodies disappear, but spirits linger to consecrate the ground for the vision-place of souls. Generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to this deathless place, to ponder and dream. And lo! the shadow of a mighty presence will wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision shall pass into their souls.

Addendum: According to Dartmouth Now, Jordan Terry ‘15, Renee Scott ‘12, Danielle Moore ‘15, and Taylor Stevens ‘15 made the trip to Washington this time around to commemorate the day. In the below picture, they stand with civil rights activist Betty Waller Gray of Richmond, Virginia:

March on Washington.jpg

Addendum: Dartblog has confirmed that Angus King ‘66 is not related to Martin Luther King, Jr..


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