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Martin Luther King

January 14, 2011

Monday Jan. 17 marks the 25th observation of the Martin Luther King holiday, as signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, and first celebrated in 1986. King is honored due to his leadership in the Civil Rights movement, during which he promoted nonviolent resistance to racist laws and policies in the United States.

Perhaps King’s best-known words come from his “I have a dream” speech, delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. He was a prolific speaker and many of his guiding words apply today, such as, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, establishing the King Holiday as a National Service Day, to emulate King’s work, in 1994.

According to mlkday.gov, “While Dr. King preached about justice, empowerment, love and peace, in the final months of his life, his attention was turned to fighting poverty. Sadly, more Americans live in poverty today than during Dr. King’s lifetime.”

– MT Editorial

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