Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday celebrated every year on the third Monday of January. It is on this day that we honor the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, the holiday falls on his actual birthday. He is The only non-president to have a national holiday.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a world leader who focused on change and progress. He made great efforts to achieve racial equity and equality during the modern civil rights movement. He did this by organizing rallies, giving speeches across the country, and mobilizing thousands of people to help end racial injustice.
5 LESSER-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
- His birth name was Michael. The civil rights leader was given the name Michael King Jr at birth — later, his father changed his own name as well as of his son to Martin Luther, after the Protestant Reformation leader.
- King started college at the age of 15. He skipped grades 9 and 12 and enrolled at Morehouse College in 1944.
- ‘I Have a Dream’ was not his first speech. Six years before his iconic speech at Lincoln Memorial, King spoke during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957.
- King was imprisoned a lot. According to the King Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. went to jail 29 times.
- His last public speech foreshadowed his death In his last speech the night before he was assassinated, King said, “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now, I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”