Martin Luther King Jr. was a revolutionary fighter who adopted nonviolence inspired by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Although he was recognized as the icon for democracy, many did not approve of this day initially. This day got approved only after a lot of struggle, that too after 20 years of Martin Luther King’s death. The legislation for a federal holiday on the day of the King’s birthday was introduced by Re. John Conyers on the 8th of April 1968.
Gradually ceremonies began on that day by the King Center in Atlanta. Later the legislation gained more momentum, and towards the year 1983, the bill was signed by President Ronald Reagan, marking the third Monday of January every year as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, it was only in 1986 that the day was observed throughout the country for the first time.
Ways to observe this day
To observe a day, we need to know why we’re supposed to in the first place. It is based on their ideologies that we need to frame ways to celebrate it.
- The first step would be to dig into the speeches of MLK. It is essential to know the situation that was prevailing in the past. MLK was an eminent orator whose speeches carried deeper meanings.
- You can surf through some of his lesser-known writings and speeches to know more about his ideologies and methods adopted to achieve them.
- You can also take the significance of this take to the social media platform in the form of artwork, quotes from his oration, and writings.
- Social media plays an important role in sharing and spreading awareness of the significance of days in great leaders’ memories.
- On a larger scale, you can work on documentaries and screenplays depicting the obstacles he underwent in achieving his dreams for the oppressed’s wellness.
Finally, it is important to adopt the values that he preached into our own lives.
Why are we celebrating this day?
There are a number of reasons to celebrate this day:
- He was the man who fought for the civic rights of people all over America.
- His famous speech “I have a dream” became an eye-opener for not just the people of his country but across many parts of the world. He voiced the concept of equality that was instantly welcomed by the mass.
- After Gandhiji, Martin Luther King gained victory by adopting non-violence as his weapon. This strengthened the ideology and promoted a peaceful atmosphere.
- He stood up against racism and equality globally and did not confine himself to one particular nationality. This is why the day is known as people’s holiday and not black’s holiday.
- He taught the world how perseverance and bring out success. To achieve his goals, he was jailed 29 times, and he conducted several peaceful demonstrations in which some failed, some reached the mass more than what was expected.
- His followers take this day to serve the needy people financially and emotionally to help them fight their struggles of life.
When is Martin Luthur King Jr. Day?