Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all. He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice. He also did all he could to make people realize that “all men are created equal.” Because of his great work, in 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize — the youngest person ever to receive this high honor. King was also a Baptist minister. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was just 39 years old. His birthday is now observed as a national holiday on the third Monday in January. Congressman John Conyers first introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968. Petitions endorsing the holiday containing six million names were submitted to Congress. Public pressure for the holiday mounted during the 1982 and 1983 civil rights marches in Washington. Congress passed the holiday legislation in 1983, which was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King
Here are some links with more information about the history of this holiday including a biography of Dr. King, a quiz for kids and a junior crossword.
To read the full I Have a dream Speech go to: