Given Jan. 20, 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the day of celebration for the Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The holiday takes place on the third Monday of January every year, designated as “a day on, not a day off” and the only national holiday that is a national day of service to encourage citizens to volunteer and improve their communities. The effort has been led by the Corporation for National and Community service for the last quarter of a century.
MLK was a Baptist minister who used nonviolent means to fight against racial segregation. King had a massive impact on the civil rights and race movements in the United States.
He grew up in a relatively poor community; he was surrounded by racism as an adolescent, but was raised to pay little attention to class or superiority. King earned a degree in sociology in 1951, was valedictorian and was elected student body president. This strength continued in his efforts to get his doctorate and become a pastor.
King championed his beliefs in many ways. He is known for his part in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Greensboro Sit-In and “I Have a Dream” speech. King was pivotal in ending segregation of African-Americans, the creation of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.
President Reagan created Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. By 2000, the holiday was celebrated in all 50 states. Since then, the United States has continued to honor King as among the most inspirational African-American leaders in history.
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