Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day and quotes
Martin Luther King Jr. Day and quotes

Martin Luther King Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. Born in 1929, King’s actual birthday is January 15 (which in 1929 fell on a Tuesday). The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. In this article we celebrate the always current moral messages and ideas of this great immortal leader.

Martin Luther King Day. At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr.

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther Day Quote
Martin Luther Day Quote

Each year on the third Monday of January, America honors the birth, life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As Martin Luther King Jr. Day, also known as MLK Day, is a Federal holiday, not only will schools and libraries be closed, most federal and state offices will be closed.

There will be no mail deliveries on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is a time to remember the injustices that Dr. King fought. A time to remember his fight for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all races and peoples through non violence.

Dr. King was an American clergyman and civil-rights leader. Born on 15 January 1929, he became minister of the Dexter Ave. Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. He led the black boycott of segregated city bus lines in 1956 and gained a major victory as a civil-rights leader when Montgomery buses began to operate on a desegregated basis.

King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968.

President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which provided a base to pursue further civil-rights activities, in the South and later nationwide. His philosophy of non violent resistance resulted in his arrest on numerous occasions in the 1950s and 60s. His 1963 protest in Birmingham, Alabama earned him worldwide attention.

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

He brought together more than 200,000 people on the March on Washington in August 1963 where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In 1964, at the age of 35, he was the youngest man and the third black man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

His interests widened from civil rights to include criticism of the Vietnam War and a deeper concern over poverty. His plans for a Poor People’s March to Washington in 1968 were interrupted for a trip to Memphis, Tennessee in support of striking sanitation workers. On April 4, 1968, he was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

Since his assassination, Mrs. Coretta Scott King has devoted her energy and attention to developing programs and building the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband’s life and dream. The King Center is the first institution built in memory of an African American leader and hosts over one million visitors a year.

The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King’s death, U.S. Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) introduced a bill in Congress to make King’s birthday a national holiday.

The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office). Only two other figures have national holidays in the U.S. honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus.

Overall, in 2007, 33% of employers gave employees the day off, a 2% increase over the previous year. There was little difference in observance by large and small employers: 33% for firms with over 1,000 employees; and, 32% for firms with under 1,000 employees. The observance is most popular among nonprofit organizations and least popular among factories and manufacturers.

Martin Luther King Jr. love ethics
Martin Luther King Jr. love ethics

The reasons for this have varied, ranging from the recent addition of the holiday, to its occurrence just two weeks after the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when many businesses are closed for part or sometimes all of the week. Additionally, many schools and places of higher education are closed for classes; others remain open but may hold seminars or celebrations of King’s message. Some factories and manufacturers used MLK Day as a floating or movable holiday.

One place outside the U.S. where Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed with equal importance is in the Japanese city of Hiroshima under mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who holds a special banquet at the mayor’s office as an act of unifying his city’s call for peace with King’s message of human rights. The City of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada, is another city that has officially recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day, although not as a paid holiday: all government services and businesses remain open.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day all national parks in the US are free for visitors. In Idaho, This day is known as Idaho Human Rights Day. In Arizona and New Hampshire, the day is known as Civil Rights Day. See the table above for the full list of additional/alternative State holidays on the Third Monday in January.

Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965

The famous musician Stevie Wonder was a strong supporter of the movement to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. In 1981, he wrote and released one of his most popular songs ‘Happy Birthday’ to highlight the cause. The bill to create Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy and passed the senate in October of 1983. The following month, President Reagan signed it, establishing the Third Monday of every January as Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday, beginning in 1986.

Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As with the lives of other major historical figures, King’s life has been interpreted in new ways by successive generations of scholars, many of whom have drawn attention to the crucial role of local Black leaders in the African American protest movements of the 1950s and ’60s. Recognizing that grassroots activists such as Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others prepared the way for King’s rise to national prominence, biographers and historians have questioned the view that Southern Black protest movements relied on King’s charismatic guidance. Nonetheless, studies of King continue to acknowledge his distinctive leadership role. (Read the full article on https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther-King-Jr/Legacy)


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Here are the major U.S. holidays. In some cases, businesses, government offices, and schools will be closed.

New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day
MLK Jr. Day
President’s Day
Valentine’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Easter/Spring Break
Mother’s Day
Memorial Day
Father’s Day
4th of July
Labor Day
Halloween
Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day