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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Home

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence" – Riverside Church in New York City, April 4, 1967

Black and white of Martin Luther King, Jr. wearing a suit.Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964

In the Public Domain

History of MLK Day

"On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill into law, designating the third Monday in January a federal holiday in observance of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The legislation to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first introduced just four days after his assassination on April 4, 1968. Still, it would take 15 years of persistence by civil rights activists for the holiday to be approved by the federal government and an additional 17 years for it to be recognized in all 50 states. Today, it is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their communities."

- National Museum of African American History & Culture, "The 15 Year Battle for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day"

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