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Leaders and Presidents

May 15, 2004

Period 8

Martin Luther King Jr. deserves to be one of the most revered leaders and revolutionists in the 20th century. He has shattered the shackles of segregation, racism, injustice and purified the futures of blacks everywhere. His dangerous spell-binding voice along with his biblical cadences drew countless numbers of people to follow beneath his footsteps. Kings courage was always unswerving and defiant, facing hundreds of death threats and endangerment towards his family. Through his famous speech I have a dream, King demanded several injustices to be righted with words such as: We have come to our nations capital to cash a check. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.

Most likely one of the most prominent presidents of the 20th century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt lifted the U.S. out of economic despair and revolutionized the American way of life. He was loved because he fought for the common people, was optimistic, and since he kept Americas chin up. Bob Dole praises F.D.R. as an energetic and inspiring leader during the dark days of the Depression; a tough, single-minded Commander in Chief during World War II; and a statesman. Even through the days of the Great Depression, Roosevelt stood as a symbol of confidence and hope. Although he was partially paralyzed by polio at age 39, he fought through the years much like he did during the war.

Along with Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhis philosophy of nonviolence and his passion for independence began a drive for freedom. He, and he alone, was responsible for the transformation of a whole entire country. Gandhis hunger strikes and boycotts caused him to be jailed by the British. Yet, his relentless non-violent protests finally freed the Indian nation from Great Britain in 1947. Gandhi’s principles of satyagraha and ahimsa have also inspired many other leaders in liberation struggles around the world, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s direction of the American civil rights movement.

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