Martin Luther King Jr. Day – A Day to Remember and Volunteer

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Photo courtesy of http://old.seattletimes.com/art/mlk/index.jpg

By Paige Mathieu

January 16th is more than just a Monday that students are able to enjoy relaxing or spending time with friends. It is also a day to remember Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only birthday that is observed as a holiday for someone who was never president of the United States.

Martin Luther King Jr. is most famously known for his participation in the Civil Rights Act.  He spoke in 1955, in support of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, that is most commonly associated with Rosa Parks’s act of protest.  Rosa Parks, being a black woman, was asked to leave her seat when a white man boarded the bus, as was customary at the time.  When Rosa Parks refused, she was placed in jail.  After Rosa Parks showed this act of protest, many others followed in her footsteps, and the protest was known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.   Martin Luther King Jr. also wrote the “I Have A Dream Speech”, which he read at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr.  became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Prize.  He was 35 years old at the time.

January 16th is also known as a day of service.  This is because in 1983, in order to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday, they also had to make it a day of service.  Since Martin Luther King Jr. supported the idea of making America a better place through work in the community, both of the concepts for the day worked perfectly.  People often participate in service projects or volunteer throughout the community to celebrate the day.  
Whether students are planning on serving the community or sleeping in late, they should remember that they are able to spend this day as they please, thanks to Martin Luther King Jr.

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