This year, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 18, 2021. MLK Day is a federal flag flying holiday and an official day of service. The holiday comes close to the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, which happened on January 15.
Dr. King was born in Atlanta, GA, to a Baptist minister; he continued his religious upbringing, receiving a theology doctorate. Dr. King was a leader and representative of nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement.
Famous for his “I have a dream” speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Dr. King was a community advocate for freedom and equality. In October 1964, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, from which he donated all his proceeds to the civil rights movement.
On the Thursday evening of April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot while looking over the Lorraine Motel’s balcony. He was unable to survive the bullet wounds and passed away at the young age of 39. Although Dr. King is no longer with us, his legacy and dream continue to live on through Americans’ hearts and minds everywhere.
On November 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagen signed a bill that marked the third Monday of January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day). All 50 states officially observed the federal holiday in 2000.
MLK Day of Service was designated by Congress in 1994 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This Martin Luther King Jr. day of appreciation is the only federal holiday designated as a national holiday.
The AmeriCorps has been leading this attempt for the past quarter-century in an effort to encourage the American people to volunteer and give back to their communities. Although this year brings about some challenges due to COVID-19; there are many other ways you can serve and help your community. The AmeriCorps has compiled a list of ways you can serve your community.