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2023 MLK-Day Graphic

ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The third Monday in January is designated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national federal holiday honoring the life and legacy of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). This holiday may seem more special to Alabamians since important events in the American civil rights movement took place in the state. Even his work, Letter from Birmingham Jail, is still considered one of the most important documents ever written during the movement.

What You Can Do

Today, most people observe the holiday by hosting and attending special events and by providing volunteer acts of service. The following is a list of potential things you can do to observe this special day:

  • Check local event listings to find MLK activities in your area.
  • Visit the Hands on ATL website to find virtual activities that honor King.
  • Volunteer your time at a local organization or make a financial donation to a charity.
  • Donate blood, which is still a critical need across America.
  • Become a Smithsonian digital volunteer of historical documents.
  • Think of what you can do to champion King’s work.

Remembering the Legacy

People best remember King for his leadership in the American civil rights movement, and his use of peaceful protests is mirrored around the world. Yet, when it comes to observing this national holiday, perhaps King’s wife, the late Coretta Scott King, said it best.

“(The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is) a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a people’s holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.”

– Coretta Scott King

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