The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a defining moment each year when Americans across the country step up to make our communities more equitable and take action to create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action.
Observed each year on the third Monday in January, MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. AmeriCorps has been charged with leading this effort for the past quarter century.
Making time to volunteer for MLK Day of Service is a great way to engage with your community while honoring the legacy of Dr. King. Whether you plan on cleaning up a public space, mentoring a young person, or assisting those who are food insecure, what you do makes a world of difference.
HOW THE KING HOLIDAY BEGAN
The King Holiday
Signed into law in January 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday is a celebration of Dr. King’s immeasurable contribution to the United States, and to humankind.
The Meaning of The King Holiday
Coretta Scott King reflects on the meaning of The King Holiday. “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America.”
Making of The King Holiday
Legislation for a King Holiday was first introduced four days after Dr. King’s assassination, signed into law in 1983, and then spread to the states. See the timeline of events.
Source: The King Center