To the Editor:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born to the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King Sr. on Jan. 15, 1929.

Dr. King Jr. had hoped to be a Baptist minister in a Southern city. Instead, by the time he was assassinated in 1968, at the age of 39, he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and led millions of people in a non-violent movement that shattered forever the Southern system of segregation of the races.

His eloquent, passionate advocacy of civil and human rights were rooted in the techniques of peaceful demonstrations pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi, who brought a new dimension of dignity to people's lives and a new hope for freedom in the community of man.

King inspired others to follow that lead.

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed Monday, Jan. 20, 1986 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday.

Dr. King asked to be remembered as a "drum major for justice," and he is.

Fran Smith

New Milford