//All About Martin Luther King Day 2021 | The History, When & Why!
Martin Luther King Jr Day Martin Luther King Jr Day 2019

All About Martin Luther King Day 2021 | The History, When & Why!

Martin Luther King Jr was born into a Christian family in 1929. He was a social activist and a spokesperson for nonviolent activism, who rose to prominence during a bus boycott by African Americans in Montgomery. He is known to have played a key role in the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Day is a holiday observed on the third Monday of January, around the day he was born, January 15.

It celebrates the life of the legend who fought and ended the systematic racial segregation and bought hope for his fellow black Americans. It praises the life and achievements of America’s most noteworthy activist, who fought major battles to end racial isolation in the United States.


History of Martin Luther King Day

Soon after King’s assassination in 1968, there were calls for the day to be celebrated as a national holiday. In 1968 a legislation was introduced but there was opposition, on both racial and political grounds.

Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, resubmitted King occasion enactment each consequent administrative session. Open weight for the occasion mounted amid the 1982 and 1983 social liberties walks in Washington, Conyers at that point was one of only a handful couple of dark individuals from Congress. (He would serve for over 50 years, leaving in December following inappropriate behavior allegations.). Conyers was an establishing individual from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). At the point when the enactment slowed down, he held on, presenting a similar bill each year until its section 15 years after the fact, assembling more co-supports en route.  In 1971, the Southern Christian Leadership Congress (SCLC) gave Congress an appeal to in help of the King occasion bearing more than three million marks. All things considered, Congress made no move.

Petitions embracing the legislation containing six million names were submitted later to Congress, It passed the holiday legislation in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan who initially opposed the holiday because of cost concerns. Thanks to musician Stevie Wonder who helped popularize the campaign in 1980 through the single “Happy Birthday“.

Controversy Surrounding The Holiday

Republicans Senators Jesse Helms and John Porter East led the opposition and asked whether King was worthy enough to receive the honor as such. Helms accused Martin Luther King Jr of having ties with communists. He presented a document at senate which Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan declared a “packet of filth”. Some others said that the holiday shouldn’t be centered around an individual rather entire civil rights movement should be honored.

In 1999, New Hampshire renamed the Civil Rights Day to Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Some states resisted observing the holiday as such, some celebrated with alternative names. However, It was officially observed in all states in 2000.

Timeline of Holiday

1968 – Martin Luther King Jr Assassination.

  • John Conyers and D-Mich introduce legislation calling for a federal holiday.


  • The state of Illinois becomes the first one to observe the day as a state holiday


  • President Reagan signs, legislation is passed.


  • Martin Luther Jr holiday goes into effect


  • Martin Luther King Holiday gets adopted in 44 states


  • Arizona votes to enact Holiday.


  • Martin Luther King Day is celebrated under different names, and not necessarily as a paid state holiday


  • New Hampshire replaces optional Civil Rights Day and adopts Martin Luther King Jr Day as a paid holiday by the state


  • Utah renamed its Human Rights Day holiday and recognizes it as Martin Luther King  Day.
  • South Carolina makes it a paid holiday for all of the state’s employees.


King Day of Service

U.S Congress person Harris Wofford and John Lewis who wrote the King Holiday and Service Act started Martin Luther King Day of Service. The legislation was passed by then-President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994.

Different colleges and associations around the U.S, for example, Arizona State University, Greater DC Cares and City Year, to pay tribute to King take part in the Martin Luther King Day of Service. Several volunteers around the nation gather and spend their time and effort in the hope for a positive change.

There only other national day of service is September 11 National Day of Service (9/11 Day).

Around The World

  • Martin Luther King Day is celebrated in Hiroshima, Japan under mayor Tadatoshi Akiba. He holds a special banquet annually at the mayor’s office as a tribute to King for his message of human rights and opposition of using nuclear weapons, and bombs such as those that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • In Ontario, Canada, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated though it’s not a recognized holiday.
  • in Holland, dinner is held in Wassenaar as a tribute to King. The occasion sees the participation of veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, features music and ends with everyone singing We Shall Overcome

How To Celebrate Martin Luther King Holiday Across The Country

A great number of administration ventures, occasions, tributes, and marches are held in different parts of the nation. Utilize this weekend to take part in the activities local communities have planned in order to respect the notorious social liberties pioneer.

New York City

From faith gatherings to melodic exhibitions, New York City has a lot of choices to observe MLK day. When you’ve done your part, venture out to these occasions to know more about Martin Luther King Jr and commend his achievements.

More on Martin Luther King Day in New York City here.


The City of Brotherly Love is home to one of the biggest Martin Luthre King Jr Day event in the nation, With more than 135,000 volunteers and 1,000 administration occasions,  the city has a scope of free and reasonable occasions to appreciate consistently.
Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center has $5 affirmation on Monday and the exhibition hall goers can participate in the numerous exercises being offered, from administration ventures to tuning in to the well known “I Have A Dream” discourse.

Washington D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial is the place MLK conveyed his most cited discourse, “I Have A Dream”. The city is loaded with volunteer occasions, yet additionally loaded up with recorded sights.
Martin Luther King has his very own dedication developed in the National Mall. It’s the primary remembrance devoted to a non-resident and the principal African-American. Visit the Lincoln Memorial to recall the Million Man March and MLK’s acclaimed discourse.


From addresses to shows, there are many alternatives to observe the Martin Luther King Jr day. The Center for Human and Civil Rights hold various addresses and a film screening of “A Force More Powerful”.

More about Atlanta’s King Week here

Martin Luther King Day Celebration Ideas

Celebrate the holiday by making your own responsibility to serve mankind with the energetic soul of genuine love that was his most noteworthy quality.

Educate Yourself

Try visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American history and culture. Also, on the off chance that you can’t make it to D.C., look with the expectation of complimentary occasions. Numerous urban areas have uncommon historical center displays on MLK Day or even put on shows devoted to the soul of King’s inheritance, Watch films about King’s life.

Begin with Our Friend, Martin since it has appeared in pretty much every classroom amid the period of January. In spite of the fact that it is a vivified film, it highlights chronicled film of King at various focuses in his life

Support a Black-owned business.

Black entrepreneurs frequently confront extra boundaries due to their race. Be sure to help your brothers in need.

Support NGO’s and Activists that are fighting against discrimination

Amidst teaching yourself and everyone around you, keep in mind to help associations that make it their main goal to battle against racial bad form. Join a challenge, raise reserves, and take in more about the work that Black Lives Matter and different associations are doing to enable the Black people group.

Martin Luther King Jr day Images

Here are some pictures of young people celebrating Martin Luther King day showing unconditional love for the legend who fought injustice and racial segregation.

What does the King Holiday Mean?

We honor King’s motivating words, which resounded amongst many fellow Americans in a dark time. Dr. Martin Luther King realized that it wasn’t sufficient just to talk the discussion, he knew he needed to walk the stroll for his words to be valid, and so he did! He gave his life for the noble cause. Thus on this occasion, we remember the man of activity, who put his life in danger to get equal opportunity for every American, be it white or black. The man who bear beatings and assassination attempts and who eventually paid the cost to make the majority rule government a reality for all Americans.

We have approached this occasion, and the Martin Luther King day is only around the corner. Let’s pay our respect to the legend by showing unconditional love to the weak and stand for the people who are still oppressed.

 If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.