...Profiles In Courage...
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Greatest Rolex Hero In History
Brilliant Civil Rights Leadership & Achievement
1964 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
[Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust]
Achievement for achievement sake is one thing. Achieving for others–in the name of love–is the greatest achievement of all.
It has been a tradition for me to re-publish this timeless and deeply inspirational story of amazing achievement every year on the weekend leading up to Martin Luther King Jr., day on Jake's Rolex World. Each year, I significantly update the story and images to better share this amazing story, and since this year represents the 50th anniversary of Dr. Kings "I have a dream" speech, I decided I would focus on expanding that section.
Martin Luther King Jr., day is a National Holiday in the United States and the choice of January 19 is based upon Martin Luther King Jr's birthday and it is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year. Martin Luther King Jr., was born on January 15, 1929 and was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday into law in 1983, and President Reagan said "I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."
25th Anniversary Celebration
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr., is the only American for which there is a Federal holiday in his name who wore a Rolex, and this years celebration of the Martin Luther Kind day is a special since it is the 25th year the United States has celebrated this holiday. Dr. King wore a yellow gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet as seen in the photos below.
"The time is always right to do what is right." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace March On Selma, Alabama
February 1, 1965
...Precursor To Bloody Sunday...
In the photo below we see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as he prays with some of his fellow civil rights warriors as they prepare to peacefully march on February 1, 1965 in Selma, Alabama.
Just 5 weeks later, on March 7, 1965 "Bloody Sunday" would take place, and this King would take his loyal and peaceful soldiers into the battle of their lives, which would fundamentally change American history and represent the pivotal and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement in America...
It crosses my mind that Dr. King is the greatest hero in the Rolex history world because he was real and he paid with his life so the world could become a much better place. Dr. King stood up for people who could not stand up for themselves and that is probably the truest definition of a real hero.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice eveywhere." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [Letter from Birmingham, Alabama Jail, April 16, 1963]
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a man of tremendous achievement and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 as well as the Presidential Medal of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Martin Luther King Jr., is pictured above and below wearing his trademark yellow gold Rolex Datejust
"We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I made a bold declarative statement when I said Martin Luther King Jr., is the greatest heros in Rolex history. Why makes this so? Martin Luther King Jr's life was threatened by many people including the F.B.I. One day a bomb went-off in front of his home which blew-up and completely destroyed his front porch. He continued to get death threats and was told that if he did not stop, he would be killed.
After his porch was rebuilt, he kept going, and he kept standing-up for people who could not stand up for themselves. Every day he continued to walk up the stairs of his home with his four small children, past the porch that had been rebuilt, full-well knowing that at any moment, he or any member of his family could be killed. Martin Luther King Jr., refused to be driven by fear!!!
There are many men and women who wore a Rolex watch on their wrist in history which somehow propelled them toward achieving amazing feats, but none as heroic, substantial and meaningful as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I can't help but wonder if Martin Luther King Jr., was inspired by his beautiful yellow-gold Datejust the same way President Eisenhower was with his?
I wonder if Martin Luther King used to sit and stare in admiration at how beautiful his Rolex was? I can't help but wonder if he used to lay in bed at night in the dark and watch the lumed dial and hands glow in the same awe that many, many Rolex wearers do?
I can't help but wonder if wearing his Rolex didn't cause Dr. King to feel invulnerable like Chuck Yeager when he broke the sound barrier with his Rolex on his wrist, or Tensing Norgay when he finally conquered Mount Everest, or Jacques Piccard when he and U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh finally landed on the deepest known part of the ocean floor in the Bathescaph Trieste, 7 Miles down, in the Marianas Trench in 1960?
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and controversy." –Dr. Martin Luther King [Strength To Love, 1963]
To best understand the brilliant philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, let's first watch this video which was one of the first video interviews of Dr. King and it was filmed October 27, 1957 which was during the Eisenhower Presidential administration.
Next up we have another fascinating interview, also from 1957 of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As you just learned if you watched the videos above, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an unusually peaceful and equally intelligent, courageous and articulate man. Martin Luther King Junior was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the middle child of Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.
Martin Luther King, Jr was actually born Michael King Jr., and in 1934, when his family traveled to Germany his father was so inspired, he changed their names to Martin Luther in honor of the Martin Luther, the German Protestant leader.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a brilliant student who was so intelligent he completed high school in two years and then attended Morehouse College at age 15!!! After graduating from Morehouse with a Bachelor Of Arts degree in sociology, he attended Crozer Theological Seminary located in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a masters degree of Bachelor Of Divinity in 1951.
On June 18, 1953 he wed Corretta Scott and they eventually had four children. At age 25, Martin Luther King then became the Pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Then he pursued his Doctorate in Systematic Theology at Boston College, and on June 5, 1955 he earned his Doctor Of Philosophy degree.
On December 1, 1955, Rossa Parks was arrested for refusing to give-up her seat to a white passenger and move to the back of the bus. This prompted the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted 385 days. Martin Luther King was on the committee from the Birmingham African-Amarican community and as a protester in February 1956 he was arrested and we see his mugshot below which was taken when he was only 27 years old.
Dr. King continued to fight for what he believed in and as we see in this next photo by Charles Moore, he is being arrested by police in 1958 for loitering in the in the vicinity of the Montgomery, Alabama Recorder's Court. The charge was later changed to "Failure to obey a police officer."
MLK meets Ike
On June 23, 1958, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to the White House to discuss the progress he was making on Civil Rights. Other African American leaders in the meeting included Roy Wilkins, Lester Granger and A. Philip Randolf.
MLK Meets JFK
President Kennedy invited Martin Luther King to the White House to talk about civil rights on October 16, 1962.
On December 17, 1962 President Kennedy invited Dr. Martin Luther King back to the White House to discuss civil rights. In the photo below we see American civil right leader Roy Wilkins standing behind Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who is shaking hands with Adlai Stevenson who was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, who is standing next to President Kennedy in the Oval Office.
MLK Meets with RFK
In the photo below, we see Dr. Martin Luther King was invited back to the White House on June 22, 1963 to meet with the United States Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson to discuss civil rights along with many other American Civil Right Leaders.
JFK and MLK would meet again in the White House on August 28, 1963, this time JFK would meet with the leaders of The March On Washington. This political demonstration garnered more political coverage than any other in history. It was crystal-clear that JFK understood the significance of the Civil Rights Movement.
Martin Luther King
On President Kennedy's Assassination
Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and Martin Luther King
Meet The Press: Just Before The March On Washington
I Have A Dream Speech
March On Washington D.C.
August 28, 1963
This next image is extremely profound as it offers an unusual view from behind Abraham Lincoln's statue located in the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington D.C., and we witness Abraham Lincoln witnessing what he set out to achieve. The symbology behind this image is amazing if you think about it!!! It is also a profound irony that Abraham Lincoln was also likely assassinated for trying to protect people that could not protect themselves.
"Beyond the reflecting pool, stand the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln." –President Ronald Reagan.
Martin Luther King Jr's, I Have A Dream speech is one of the deepest and most profound speeches any man has ever given.
The March On Washington was a huge success and many leading Hollywood actors attended the event including (as seen below) Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and Charleton Heston.
"Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Winning The Nobel Peace Prize
With His Rolex Datejust On His Wrist
On December 10, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., became the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize and in the photo below, you see Dr. King holding his coveted Nobel Peace Prize medallion in his hand, and if you click on the image and look closely, you see him wearing his trademark yellow gold Rolex Datejust on his wrist.
"When a man has a world in his hands, you expect to find a Rolex on his wrist." –Rolex Advertisement (1965)
Dr. King with Malcolm X
In the photo below we see Dr. King with fellow civil rights leader Malcolm X at their first meeting in 1964.
The Rolex President & King
Dr. Martin Luther King is pictured below attending a meeting with President Lyndon Johnson in the White House in Washington D.C. You can click on the next two images below to get a better view of Dr. King's Rolex.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [Strength To Love, 1963]
Dr. King is pictured below negotiating with President Johnson who also wore a yellow gold Rolex.
Dr. King's Dream Finally Came True
"I have a dream, that my four little children, will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The last celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., was profound because it fell on the eve of the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration. Prior to being elected President Of The United States, Barack Obama gave this fascinating speech at Dr. King's church:
In this next short video interview we hear Dr. King predict that he believes America could elect a black president in the next 24-40 years.
"I submit to you, that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [Speech in Detroit. June 23, 1963].
Dr. King On Vietnam and The Value Of Truth
Even though this is a video, it is just audio of a speech Dr. King gave on why he opposed the war in Vietnam. This speech ended up winning a Grammy award for The Best Spoken Word Recording. Dr. King also speaks about how he was inspired by having won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Martin Luther King wore a yellow gold Rolex Datejust as pictured above and below. The photo of Dr. King praying (above), was taken just weeks before his death. When Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee he was wearing his beloved Rolex Datejust.
It is deeply profound to consider the man who successfully set America free and caused it to live up to its creed, did so wearing a Rolex Datejust!!! Dr. King lived and died for America. I believe hundreds of years from now, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be regarded as the greatest American that ever lived!!!
Dr. Martin Luther King's Prophetic Last Speech
Delivered April 3, 1968: The Evening Before He Was Assassinated
Dr. Martin Luther King's last public speech was delivered on a stormy night in Memphis, Tennessee and his speech was amazingly profound and prophetic. If you carefully study the words of his speech, in many ways it seemed he knew he was going to be assassinated.
There were more than 2000 people in attendance at the Mason Temple and in the photo below, taken just before Dr. King gave his final speech, we see him sitting with aid, Jesse Jackson. If you carefully examine the image below that was taken that evening in the Masonic Temple, you notice Dr. King is wearing his yellow gold Datejust. It is amazing when you realize, Dr. King gave his extremely famous "Promised Land" speech while wearing his Rolex Datejust.
It is equally profound to realize the next morning when he was murdered and martyred he was wearing his trademark yellow-gold Rolex Datejust with the Jubilee bracelet.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Help Build The Dream!!!
Martin Luther King's story of achievement is deeply inspirational, and his legacy is perhaps more powerful today than ever. Despite the fact that he was killed in cold blood, his martyrdom in some ways is makes him more powerful than when he was alive, and you can help to contribute to his cause, thus making you a part of his movement to bring mankind together on many levels.
In April of 2010 I received an email from Lowell Dempsey from BuildTheDream.Org. He mentioned that the BuildTheDream.Org was getting close to raising the $120 Million they need to complete the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and he said:
The Dr. Martin Luther King memorial was built and President Obama gave a dedication speech which you can see below:
New Dr. Martin Luther King Documentary
Dr. Martin Luther King Rolex Legacy
As I have previously mentioned, I pointed out that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in my opinion, is the greatest hero in history to wear a Rolex.
In Rolex's most recent (2013 ) ad campaign, as seen below, Rolex has included Dr. King in their ad campaign. I must admit that when I saw this, it not only brought tears to my eyes, but also made the tens of thousands of hours I have spent researching and chronicling Rolex history completely worth while.
Several months ago, I put together a Photoshop Rolex Magazine Ad Design Contest, and in it I created this mock-up. Just to be clear, this is not a Rolex ad, it is one I created, which I would love to see in magazines and on billboards. It also seems fitting that somehow that Dr. King, has the Rolex crown next to him. Something about a King needs his Rolex Crown, or something like that?
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
1964 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
I also created the Rolex ad mock-up below, which shows Dr. Martin Luther King holding his Nobel Peace Prize, and you can see his trademark yellow gold Rolex Datejust on his wrist. I used an actual Rolex advertising slogan that was popular at the time this photo was taken in 1964. I don't believe the Rolex slogan from the mid 1960s, could be any more apropos and on-point in 1964 when the photo below was taken, and in hindsight, it is even more so today.
Another supreme irony with the Rolex slogan "WHEN A MAN HAS A WORLD IN HIS HANDS YOU EXPECT TO FIND A ROLEX ON HIS WRIST", is that gospel singer Mahalia Jackson sang the song "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands", just before Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream Speech." This is likely a coincidence, but it sure does resonate beautifully.
I highly recommend watching Dr. King's Nobel Prize Acceptance speech which is very profound.
This next photo shows Dr. Martin Luther King in the White House Oval Office with President Kennedy just after Dr. King gave his iconic I Have A Dream Speech.
“One cannot help but be impressed with the deep fervor and the quiet dignity that characterized the thousands who have gathered in the Nation’s Capital…this Nation can properly be proud of the demonstration that has occurred here today.” - President Kennedy, Remarks following the March on Washington
The photo below, taken on April 8, 1968 shows Dr. Martin Luther King laying dead in his casket, while his wife Coretta Scott King, stands with their small chldren Yolanda, Bernice, Martin Luther King III, and Dexter. This photo was taken at the Sisters Chapel on the Spellman College campus in Atlanta, Georgia. As I have said so many time before, the truest definition of a hero is somebody who stands up for people who can't stand up for themselves, and Martin Luther King ultimately gave up everything including his life and his family because he stood up for what he believed in.