Martin Luther King, Jr.


Michael Ochs Archives

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers a speech to a crowd of approximately 7,000 people on May 17, 1967 at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. is “We must accept infinite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” This quote means to me that you can be disappointed about things but you should never lose hope and give up.  Why do we honor MLK with a day off of school?

Martin Luther King, Jr. day is a holiday (the third Monday in January) honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. The achievements of him being a baptist minister and being a civil rights leader against racial segregation. It was first observed in 1986. Not all states started celebrating until the year 2000. This day is a chance for Americans to remember his legacy.

He first came to national prominence during the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. He founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, and led the 1963 March on Washington. He was also in the passage of the Civil Right Act of 1964.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was given the Nobel Prize for peace in 1964.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. RIght after his death calls for national holiday were for his honor. By 1983 legislation made the third Monday in January a holiday was finally passed. Martin Luther King day is mostly celebrated with marches and parades and speeches from civil right leaders.