Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday


The King holiday is celebrated in some form in more than 100 countries around the world. Born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the world's best known advocates of non-violent social change strategies. Although King's roots were in the African-American Baptist church, he synthesized ideas drawn from many different cultural traditions. Dr. King is known for being one of the greatest orators of the twentieth century, and perhaps in all of American history. In the 1950s and 1960s, his words led the Civil Rights Movement and helped change society. He is best known for helping achieve civil equality for African Americans, but his true goal was much larger than that: He hoped to achieve acceptance for all people, regardless of race or nationality.

Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Commerce

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Page last updatedNovember 16, 2011