Honoring the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Honoring the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted by Hayley Adams on Jan 13th 2022

“Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t carry just a piece of cloth to symbolize his belief in racial equality; he carried the American Flag.” – Adrian Cronauer

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 17th, 2022

The History of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, sometimes referred to as MLK Day, is an American Federal holiday, marking not only the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., but also remembering his legacy that he left behind. Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is on January 15th, we commemorate it each year on the third Monday of January, due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

Americans celebrated the first official MLK Day on Monday, January 20, 1986. Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service and marked the third Monday in January every year as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - a "Day On, Not a Day Off."

Martin Luther King Jr. was a social rights activist and was known for ending the legal segregation of African Americans in parts of the United States. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father by entering the ministry to become a Baptist minister and rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Through this, he promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the massive March on Washington, to achieve civil rights, and began a new beginning for America. In 1964, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the youngest person to ever receive that honor.

In the final days of his life, Dr. King traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to lead a march in support of striking sanitation workers, but on April 4, 1968, he was assassinated in Memphis while standing on the balcony of his hotel.

Dr. King's Call for a Day of Service

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is among many flag flying holidays. The American Flag can and should be flown every day the weather permits, from sun up to sundown, but flying the flag on MLK day is a sign of celebration and remembrance. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in freedom and justice for all. He encouraged activism and change to help America become a place of equality. Americans are encouraged to observe MLK Day as a day of service and to honor his life and work by giving to communities through actions that contribute to solutions for social problems.