Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
by: Alyssa M. and Hong-Tran D.; Staff Writers
Who was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 and died on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39. He was born under the name Michael King, but his father changed the name in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther. King was known for his role in the civil rights era, insisting on equality for everyone. He was known for his powerful and moving sermons and speeches, leading marches and protests, and writing letters from the Birmingham jail. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dr. Martin Luther King is best known for his “I Have a Dream’’ speech. King also was known for his peaceful approach in all his protests. Instead of using violence to gain better rights, he used his words, which made a larger impact. On October 14, 1964 he received the Nobel Peace prize for fighting against racial inequality, but in a peaceful way. In 1968, King was planning “The Poor People’s Campaign” when he was assassinated on April 4th, in Memphis, Tennessee. His death caused many riots in many different cities.
Dr. King’s first holiday was celebrated in 1971, in St. Louis Missouri. President Ronald Reagan made it an official holiday by passing a law. Some states like Utah, Arizona, and New Hampshire were the last three states to celebrate the holiday.
So how do we celebrate King’s holiday today? Usually in schools, people will read books or write biographies about him, and talk about the work that still needs to be done. Some people do volunteer work to celebrate this holiday. Sometimes there are parades in some cities. This holiday is to celebrate the achievements and the life of Martin Luther King Jr. He will always be remembered for the great impact he had on America. His actions are still influencing today’s society.