Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and civil rights leader who championed justice and equality. As he said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. King was also a great advocate of change through non-violent civil actions based on his Christian values. He was a great speaker, and his powerful words resonate with us today.
The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. day and has been a federal holiday since 1986. This means that it is a day off for federal employees, as well as many schools. This also means that the holiday does not always fall on Martin Luther King Jr.’s true birth date, January 15.
On this holiday, we are paying tribute to Dr. King’s principles, perhaps best exemplified by his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”
Americans are encouraged to observe this day as a “Day of Service” to others with appropriate civic, community, and service projects.