Monday Mornings

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t celebrated this day in the past in any meaningful way.

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t celebrated this day in the past in any meaningful way. If anything, it was a day off work.

But this year, I wanted to know more and not just treat this as a day “off.” I wanted to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK), one of our most inspiring leaders, and I wanted to learn the real meaning of this holiday.

The King Center shares an inspirational and moving piece on the meaning of the holiday written by Coretta Scott King. I especially love the reminder that MLK “taught by his example that nonviolent action is the most powerful, revolutionary force for social change . . .” Something we can remember for our world today.

After doing a bit of research, here are just a few things I found out about MLK and this holiday:

  • MLK’s birthday is January 15. We celebrate MLK Day on the third Monday of January due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. (Yep, that’s a real law. Check it out.)
  • Over 100 countries honor him in some way during this month. There is even a street named after him in Jerusalem.
  • Just four days after MLK was assassinated, Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced legislation for a federal holiday honoring MLK. It took 30 years for MLK Day to legally become a national holiday, finally signed into law in 1983.
  • It wasn’t until the year 2000 (yes, only 16 years ago) that ALL 50 states legally recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The last five states to follow the law: Arizona, New Hampshire, Virginia, Utah, and South Carolina.
  • He was 35-years-old when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He donated all of his prize money to the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Bob Dylan and Joan Baez performed a duet before MLK took the podium to deliver his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”

So if you want to celebrate this holiday in a meaningful way and “make it a day on, not a day off,” here are some ideas. You can also find volunteer opportunities through here.

Happy Monday!

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2 comments

I still think back to the morning when our team (in DC for NCSS) visited the relatively new memorial. It was a bright sunny day, and the sun was playing around with shadows of that imposing figure. Loved that moment.

I remember that day too. Was really a special moment, and I am so glad we all got to see the memorial together. A beautiful day!

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