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Martin Luther King Jr.`s Life and Death Remembered; A Look Back at the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Having a Four-Year Degree May be More Important than Where it Came From

Aired January 17, 2020 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Knock, knock. Who`s there? Friday. Friday, who? Fridays are awesome. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10, and this particular Friday

leads into a three-day weekend for many folks across America, because January 20th is the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. It`s named for the

American Baptist minister and Civil Rights leader who was actually born on January 15th in 1929, but for more than three decades, the federal holiday

that honors his accomplishments has been celebrated on the third Monday in January.

Public events, marches, speeches by Civil Rights leaders and politicians are all part of it. And the U.S. government recognizes Martin Luther King,

Jr. Day as a day of service; it`s said to be a day on, not a day off and the goal of that is to encourage Americans to volunteer in their

communities, to improve them.

Dr. King himself was the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association, named for the City of Montgomery, Alabama, which is now known as the

birthplace of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. King had a reputation for being an eloquent speaker. He felt strongly that peaceful

events, like marches, were the best methods of achieving civil rights for African Americans.

King`s influence was growing when he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and in 1963 he led the March on Washington

where he delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech. The next year Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

When changes within the Civil Rights Movement and occasional discouragement challenged him in the late 1960s, King found revival through his Christian

faith. CNN`s Dana Bash filed this report on Dr. King`s legacy on the 50th anniversary of his death.


DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is unbelievable. You look up there; it says Mason Temple. This is where Martin Luther King, 50 years ago, gave his

incredible mountain top speech.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I just want to do God`s will. And he`s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I look over and I see the Promised Land. I

may not get there with you, but I want you to know the night that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.

BASH: That night, April 3rd, 1968, King checked in here, the Lorraine Hotel.

MALE: It`s just around 5:45 and he steps outside on the balcony of Room 306 and he speaks to other guests that are in the courtyard. At approximately

6:01 the fatal shot rings out. Dr. King lies mortally wounded on the balcony. He`s taken from the balcony to St. Joseph`s Hospital and he`s

pronounced dead at 7:00 (INAUDIBLE).

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Shocked and saddened by the brutal slaying tonight of Dr. Martin Luther King. I ask

every citizen to reject the blind violence that has killed Dr. King, who lived by non-violence.

MALE: To me it`s like a returning to something rudimentary and fundamental. I mean, this is where Martin Luther King breathed his last breath.

MALE: The owner of the Lorraine Motel decided not to recheck this room out in Dr. King`s honor.

BASH: This is exactly how it was left?

MALE: It was left this way, yes.


BASH: Tell me how you`re feeling. I was watching you standing here.

MALE: Well, you know, it`s very emotional to come here. I was not here that evening.

He changed my life. He inspired me to stand up, to speak up and to never give up.


AZUZ: Ten-Second Trivia. Which of these European universities is the oldest? University of Bologna, Cambridge, Oxford or Salamanca?

Italy`s University of Bologna was founded in 1088, making it the oldest university in the western world.

There are a lot of good jobs in the United States that do not require a four-year college degree. But for decades, studies have indicated that

people with college degrees usually earn more than people without them, at least on average.

What might surprise you is that it may not matter so much where that degree comes from. Even though elite schools like Princeton, Harvard, Columbia,

MIT and Yale frequently top the list of America`s best colleges; there are a lot of millionaires and some billionaires who started out at community

college, and some who never finished a college degree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vast majority of American schools actually accept well over 50 percent of their applicants. But there is a tier that are

highly selective that take fewer than 20 percent, 10 percent, and in some cases fewer than 6 percent of their applicants. And what parents and kids

will do to get into those schools is practically heroic.

There`s a question that no one addresses, which is: Are those graduates of elite schools who go on to great success, is that a reflection of what

happened to them at those elite schools or is it a reflection of a lifetime of privilege that invariably led to admission into and attendance at one of

those elite schools?

WARREN BUFFET, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: In my experience in business there is very little difference, if any, between a very high-priced business

education and what`s available for a lot less money. I learned just as much at University of Nebraska as I did at Wharton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hear a lot of successful people who attended elite schools say you don`t need to. They don`t notice some appreciable

difference in the quality of people who came from, say, a large public school with a fairly high acceptance rate and someone came from a very

elite private college with a low acceptance rate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but it`s not

necessarily the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve turned the college admissions process into this sort of shopping mall where we view certain things as the Neiman Marcus,

others as the JCPenney, and God forbid you end up in the Target across the street. But what matters much, much more than where you go to school, and

this is -- there`s no doubt about this, is what you do when you get to that school.

AZUZ: There are certain advantages to being the tallest firefighter in the department.

MALE: We put in smoke detectors. He doesn`t need a ladder.

MALE: At seven feet tall, Brandon (ph) Berridge may be the tallest firefighter on the planet. He still has to train like his colleagues in

Tullahoma, Tennessee, and they sometimes enjoy cutting him down with nicknames like Shorty.

BRANDON BERRIDGE: One of the officer`s kid`s calls me (ph) Afflack, because I have to duck all the time. (LAUGHS)

AZUZ: But when you`ve got the height, you`re in a firefight, you don`t take flight; you don`t get stage fight. You just might get a rise out of your

good luck, putting down the flames that ain`t tall enough to bring you up. Some people spit fire; Brandon Berridge puts it out. Hear the siren, see

the tall guy; just give him a shout. The seven-footer do-gooder unfolds from the truck and high rises to the challenge when that challenge heats


All right. We`ve got some folks in Mansfield, Texas watching today. Mansfield Summit High School, we love you. Thanks for subscribing and

commenting at We`ll be searching today`s comments there for Tuesday`s Shout Out School. So we hope your weekend is totally You