Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era and a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. In sermons and speeches, Dr.
King’s voice rang out with a call for us to work toward a better tomorrow.
His actions inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world. Dr. King was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil rights activities. While he preached about justice, empowerment, love and peace, in the final months of his life, his attention was turned towards fighting poverty. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King is the first African American-and the first non-U.S. president-to have an official legal holiday.