By Kayla Mustain
On November 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill making Martin Luther King Jr. Day happen. It officially began three years later on January of 1986. Marin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday of every year. It is celebrated then because that is the day that is closest to his birthday, January 15. This day, January 15, is to celebrate his legacy.
“And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”- I Have A Dream Speech August 28, 1963
He was born on January 15, 1929 and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
MLK Jr. was an important American Civil Rights leader. He influenced society in the 1950s to 1960s. He was greatly known to speak out against racial segregation in a non-threatening way. His smooth talking and charisma led him to be so widely known (he has his experience as a pastor to thank for that). He spoke out over 2,500 times and traveled over six million miles.
He enjoyed the prospect of learning new things. He graduated his segregated public school in Georgia at the age of 15, and he managed to get a bachelor’s degree in Atlanta, another segregated school. It is clear he loved knowledge because he went on to study theology in Pennsylvania at Crozer Theological Seminary. An interesting fact about this school was that it was an integrated school. He was elected president of his senior class even though it was made up of mostly white students.
On December 1955, he led a 382-day boycott of Montgomery’s public bus to show the dissatisfaction segregated people had with being limited to the back of the bus.
During his life, he was personally abused, had his house burned down, and was arrested over 20 times.