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One World to Explore by Jill McDonald

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 19, 2016 / Uncategorized

Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday, which means that the whole country celebrates it. Many schools and government offices are closed. The US Postal Service does not deliver mail and many banks and libraries are closed. The holiday is on the third Monday of the month of January because Dr. King’s birthday is January 13.

Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

He was a Baptist minister and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. In the mid 1950s, Dr. King sought equality for African Americans, poor people, and those who were treated unfairly by society. He used a tactic known as non-violence to get his point across. This means that he led peaceful protests like marches and walkouts instead of trying to make his point with violence. Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the same year the Civil Rights Act was passed. A year later, in 1965, the Voting Right Act was passed in large part due to the efforts he led.

Dr. King was killed in 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was declared a Federal Holiday in the US in 1986.

How do people celebrate?

Many people honor the memory of Dr. King by volunteering on his day. Because he dedicated his life to helping people who needed it, volunteering is a good way to remember him.