January 17, 2013

From the Editor: Vote. It's a small price to pay for free movie tix

By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor

Last week, I told you how you could enter a contest to win four tickets to "Stars on Ice," coming March 10 to the Cumberland County Civic Center. (If you missed it, like our GO Facebook page -- facebook.com/PPHgo -- by noon Feb. 22 to become eligible.)

This week, I'm going to clue you in to another contest, this time for free movie passes. Yes, it's time for the annual Maine Sunday Telegram Readers Pick the Oscar Contest.

Between now and 5 p.m. Feb. 22, go online to cast your predictions in the six major Academy Awards categories. You can also mail in a paper ballot, which can be found inside GO today on Page 30 and every week until the contest ends, as well as in the Audience section of the Maine Sunday Telegram. (Only original ballots will be accepted -- no photocopies -- and only one vote per person is allowed.)

The person who accurately predicts the most Oscar winners will receive the tickets. In the event of a tie, a random drawing will determine the winner. Winner(s) will be announced in the Audience section of the March 3 Telegram.

Who loves ya, baby? (Since I'm in the giving mood, I'll even give a free copy of "Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2013" to someone who can name the origin of that pop-culture reference by commenting on this column online. I'll pick one at random from correct comments.)

MONDAY is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and there are a number of local observances taking place to celebrate it. (See Ray Routhier's story and the Etc. listings for more information.)

In honor of MLK, here are some little-known facts about the civil rights legend:

King's name was mistakenly listed as "Michael" on his birth certificate. His family had it legally changed to "Martin Luther" five years later.

Although he's most famous for his August 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, King was incredibly prolific, and gave more than 2,500 speeches during the Civil Rights Movement. Of particular note: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," written while he was incarcerated for a non-violent protest in April 1963; and the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech on April 3, 1968, in which he predicted that he would soon die. He was assassinated the following day.

King adopted the nonviolent method of protest that would define the Civil Rights Movement after being introduced to the teachings of Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi during a sermon.

King survived two assassination attempts before being fatally shot in 1968. His house was bombed during the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott in 1956, and he was stabbed near the heart by a deranged woman during a book signing in 1958.

At the time of his death, King had expanded his work to fight for indigent people of all races. He called it the Poor People's Campaign. (If he was alive today, I think King would have a lot to say on this subject.)

King's mother, Alberta Williams King, was also killed by a gunman -- she was shot in 1974 by a deranged man as she sat at the organ of her church.

Today, more than 730 cities in the U.S. have streets named after King. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill declaring King's birthday to be a federal holiday. It was first observed in 1986.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or:

rharmon@pressherald.com

Twitter: RHarmonPPH

 

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