The third Monday every January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, informally known as MLK Day, is a holiday recognizing one of the leading American civil rights leaders of the 20th century. Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929 and is widely regarded for his work in leading marches and parades throughout the segregated south in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr King worked to end racial segregation on public transportation, in public schools and workplaces, and calling for racial equality on the national level.
Efforts to create a national holiday honoring King began soon after his assassination and on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Bill into law.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be observed on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, the third Monday every January.
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day means commemorating the life and work of Dr. King. People are encouraged to use the day to “reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Dr. King.” The holiday is typically observed with events such as marches and rallies and speeches by politicians and civil rights leaders.
MLK Day is also the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
Things to do on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Attend an event celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Look for opportunities to volunteer for MLK National Day of Service
- MLK Jr. Day of Service is annual tradition at UCI
- Donate to support the efforts of the King Center
- Support Black-owned businesses
- Advocate for Voting Rights
- Learn about King and the Civil Rights Movement
Books by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Strength to Love
- Stride Toward Freedom
- Where Do We Go From Here
- Why We Can’t Wait
- The Trumpet of Conscience
Writing & Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- A Testament of Hope
- The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr
- A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Books About Martin Luther King, Jr.
- My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. – Coretta Scott King
- From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice – Thomas F. Jackson
- Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence – Greg Moses
- Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Dr. William Pepper
- Martin Luther King, Jr. On Leadership. New York: Warner Books – Donald T. Phillips
- What Manner of Man – Lerone, Jr. Bennett
- Let The Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Stephen B. Oates
- Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Documentary, Montgomery to Memphis – Flip Schulke
- Martin Luther King, Jr.: To the Mountaintop – Wm. Roger Witherspoon
- National Geographic Kids: Martin Luther King, Jr. – Kitson Jazynka
- A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr – David A. Adler
Movies & Documentaries About Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Selma (2014)
- King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis (1970)
- King in the Wilderness (2018)
- In Remembrance of Martin (1986)
- Eyes on the Prize (1987)
- 13th (2016)
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Monique McArthur is a mother of two, writer, and creator of delicious recipes. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all that Orange County has to offer, traveling, shopping, running with her dogs and spending time with family.