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Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister and leader of the civil rights movement, championing justice and equality from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. As he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. King was also a strong advocate of change through nonviolent civil actions based on his Christian values. He was a great speaker, and his powerful words still resonate with us today.

The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (often abbreviated to “MLK Day”). It has been a federal holiday since 1986. This means that it is an observed holiday for federal employees, as well as for many schools and businesses. This also means that the holiday does not always fall on Martin Luther King Jr.’s true birth date, January 15.

This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed on Monday, January 16, 2023

In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded Nobel Peace Prize at the young age of 35 for his peaceful campaign against racism. He turned over the prize money of $54,123 to support the civil rights movement. Here is his acceptance speech.

Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.”
–Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–68)

On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated while speaking in Tennessee in support of the struggling garbage workers of that city. It had been only 4 years earlier that he had received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racism.


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