What Does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Mean to You?

‎"Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday, Jan. 16. For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to the community, be it through removing grafiti or picking up litter in a local park. For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.

So tell us -- What does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy? 

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, now a U.S. holiday,took 15 years to create. 

Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968. 

The bill was stalled, but Coyers, along with Rep. Shirley Crisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington. 

Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day. 

Now, the corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.


Courtney Carreras January 17, 2012 at 05:03 AM
To me, Martin Luther King Day is a reminder of this incredible man and of the fact that retaliating against a wrong with violence or with an escalation of violence against violence is not a show of strength. Demonstrating strength is using honesty, wisdom and your inner resolve to solve a problem. Being strong in knowing who you are and right from wrong draws people to you and makes you a leader and he epitomized that. He was so wise. I wish more people used this approach to issues rather than the drama that comes from fear and insecurity.


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