Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader.
He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.
Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.
Martin Luther King Day, also known as Martin Luther King’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr Day, is combined with other days in different states.
For example, it is combined with Civil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, while it is observed together with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined with Robert E. Lee’s birthday in some states. The day is known as Wyoming Equality Day in the state of Wyoming.
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, but has slightly different names in some states. Non-essential Government departments are closed, as are many corporations.
Some schools and colleges close but others stay open and teach their students about the life and work of Martin Luther King.
Small companies, such as grocery stores and restaurants tend to be open, although a growing number are choosing to close on this day. Some compensate by opening on Washington's Birthday instead.
Recent federal legislation encourages Americans to give some of their time on Martin Luther King Day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Public transit systems may or may not operate on their regular schedule.
Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States.
His most famous address was the "I Have A Dream" speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
He was assassinated in 1968.