Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his
"I Have a Dream" speech in Washington D.C.
Via Library of Congress
Today, January 16th, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the birthday of civil right activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King's actual birthday is January 15th, and the holiday takes place every third Monday in January.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. The holiday was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

To learn more about King's life and his legacy, check out this selection of books from the library's collection, or click through to the websites listed below.

Listen to a recording of King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech here:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change - Located in Atlanta at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, which includes King's birth home, Freedom Hall and his crypt. Their digital archives are scheduled to go live today.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute - Provides a searchable online database of King's correspondence, sermons, speeches, published writings, and unpublished manuscripts.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial  - The official website of the national memorial in Washington D.C.

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