Today Is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 16th, 2012
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is held on the 3rd Monday of January each year which is near Dr. Kingâ€™s birthday on January 15th.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the main spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement. His speeches successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. Dr. King is remembered often for his â€œI have a dream speechâ€.
Here is an excerpt from that famous speech:
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.â€
The campaign for a federal holiday to honor Dr. King began soon after he was assassinated in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed this holiday into law in 1983, though it was not officially observed until 1986. Even still some states were hesitant on celebrating this holiday. It was not until the year 2000 that all 50 states observed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.