Celebrating the life of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, sometimes referred to as MLK Day, is an American Federal holiday, marking his birthday. Although Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is technically on January 15th, we celebrate it every year on the third Monday of January, due to the Uniform Holiday Monday act.
Why we commemorate
King was the most visible and prominent spokesperson for nonviolent activism during the Civil Rights Movement, from 1954 until his death in 1968. In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. King was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Shortly after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, the campaign for recognizing King with a national Holiday began. The holiday was signed into law in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. By 2000, it was officially observed in all 50 states across the US.
A day of service
Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in freedom and justice for all. He encouraged activism and change through nonviolence and uplifting others. By observing MLK Day as a day of service and as a "day on, not a day off" we are honoring his life and work by giving back and contributing to the community through actions that continue to solve social problems.