On DECEMBER 31, 1955, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led a nonviolent protest by boycotting the city buses of Montgomery, Alabama. Rev. King stated: "If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, 'There lived a great people...who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.'" At the end of the year, 1962, President John F. Kennedy stated: "We mark the festival of Christmas which is the most sacred and hopeful day in our civilization. For nearly 2,000 years the message of Christmas, the message of peace and good will towards all men, has been the guiding star of our endeavors...the birthday of the Prince of Peace." President Kennedy continued: "To the one million men in uniform who will celebrate this Christmas away from their homes...and to all of you I send my very best wishes for a blessed and happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year."