In America’s history very few citizens have the privilege of a federal holiday in their honor. It’s a rare thing to come by. What does it take to be worthy of such an honor? One man is recognized for his vision and fight for equality, using a nonviolent approach. This man changed American society by empowering individuals, bridging barriers, and created solutions to solve social problems that plagued the U.S. Every third Monday of January we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a tribute to his life’s work.
Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his entire life fighting for equality and justice in American society. He was a key figure in the Montgomery Bus Boycott that followed Rose Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white man. In 1957 King and others founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a group that harnessed the power of African American churches to engage in non-violent protests. In 1963, during the March on Washington, King gave his seminal speech, “I Have a Dream”
He continued to fight for equality as the head of the SCLC until his assassination in April of 1968. Shortly after his death, Rep. John Conyers along with many others fought for a national holiday and years later in 1983 President Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. Interestingly it wasn't until 2000 that all fifty states recognized Martin Luther King Day as a holiday, with Arizona (1992), New Hampshire (1999) and Utah (2000) the last to recognize the holiday.
So what can you do to honor Dr. King and his legacy? Well cities and communities across the country host a range of events.
Many communities host MLK Day parades. Here in North Carolina, Greensboro hosts it’s annual MLK Day parade, where 20,000 people are expected to attend. Check your local paper or TV news station to find out if your community holds similar celebrations. You can also visit mlkday.gov for a listing of service opportunities. In Dr. King’s birthplace, Atlanta, there is a weekend of festivities for the whole family. You can find out more information here. No matter what you choose to do, take time this weekend to celebrate Dr. King's legacy and get out there and do something to better your community.
If your school or town is having an event in and needs any assistance, please contact us at Carrot-Top Industries. We specialize in custom banners, signs, custom decals, parade flag equipment and more. Our customer service representatives are ready to assist you in planning and executing a professional looking event to celebrate MLK Day, or any upcoming holiday. Visit our website (www.carrot-top.com) or give us a call to talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable customer service reps. (800.628.3524).