Each year, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. It is a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. We recognize this day because MLK was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement and he successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
The most prominent leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States, he was also the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. There are a few things you also might not know about MLK.
Did you know Martin Luther King Jr. also…
- Changed his name from Michael?
- Started college at the age of 15?
- Got a C in public speaking?
- Was the first African American “Man of the Year”?
- Loved Star Wars?
- Was arrested almost 30 times?
- Is globally revered?
Martin Luther King is known for his “I Have a Dream Speech” but he also once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”
MLK Day is also known throughout the United States as a day of volunteering and service. This tradition was started by former Pennsylvania Congressman John Lewis, also a significant advocate of human rights in the 1960’s. The day challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action and volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. So, if your New Year’s resolution includes helping out others, Martin Luther King Jr. Day also might be the best day to kick your year off right.
As we begin 2015, it would be good to remember the words of another advocate for human rights:
“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were and ask why not?
And that’s exactly what Martin Luther King Jr. did.
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