Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr, was a beloved minister and leader/activist for nonviolent protest during an era where protest had a propensity towards violence. For 13-years he led the Civil Rights Movement, giving profound speeches and getting people involved from the grassroots level to participate in peaceful protest.
Martin Luther King Day is a Federal holiday in the United States and its territories, always honored on the third Monday* in the month of January, falling around King's birthday. King was born on or about January 15, 1929; there is some question about the exact day of his birth, but the best guess is the 15th. Until his death on April 4, 1968, King worked tirelessly for equality, not only for people of color, but for all people. He drew his inspiration from Christianity, as well as the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, a great leader who stressed peace and community among India's people.
Throughout King's career, he wrote and spoke frequently while traveling extensively. His "Letter from Birmingham Jail", written in 1963, is quite a passionate statement of his crusade for justice. King's "I Have a Dream" speech is a 17-minute public-oration delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. On October 14, 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in the United States. Today his speeches are read and revered by people of all creeds and color. King is the only non-president to have a National Holiday dedicated in his
honor, as well as the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in Washington DC .
King will never be forgotten. His inspiration and eloquence continue to reach people from all walks of life around the world.
*The "floating" holiday falls under the same rule as other holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, although the Act actually predated the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by 15-years.