Honoring the City of Akron Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Ms. SUTTON. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the City of Akron and the 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture which will be held at the Akron-Summit County Main Library. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Eta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc.

Ozell Sutton will deliver the annual lecture. Civil rights and human rights are Sutton's passions. He served as an escort for the Little Rock Nine when they entered Central High School in Arizona in 1957. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington in 1963 and in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. He was in Memphis when King was killed in 1968. Mr. Sutton has been cited four times by Ebony magazine as one of the "100 Most Influential African-American Leaders."

All Americans know of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s stature as a national hero and we all look up to Dr. King's ideals of freedom, justice and opportunity. From his celebrated "Letter from Birmingham Jail" to his organization of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Dr. King demonstrated that eloquent words followed with significant action could affect social change without resorting to violence. His "I Have a Dream" speech movingly spelled out his dream of racial equality and propelled the issue to the forefront of national consciousness.

The City of Akron, which has a very rich history, is the seat of Summit County in the State of Ohio. The city is located between Cleveland to the north and Canton to the south. It was founded in 1825 near the Ohio & Erie Canal and became a manufacturing center owing to its location at a staircase of locks. The locks were needed due to the higher elevation of the area, which gave rise to the name Summit County as well as Akron, which is a rough translation of "summit" into Greek.

The city is home to the University of Akron, the Akron Aeros "AA" affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, and the Firestone Country Club, at which the PGA Tour's Bridgestone Invitational is annually played. Akron is often referred to as "The Rubber City," being the home of both Goodyear and Firestone. The city is also home to the All-American Soap Box Derby which has been held at Akron's Derby Downs race track since 1935.

In closing, I once again pay tribute to the City of Akron and the 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).