This coming Monday is MLK Day, honoring the birthday and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King was a leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, promoting nonviolent activism while protesting racial discrimination in U.S. laws. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped organize many nonviolent protests, including the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his famous speech, "I Have a Dream." In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism against racial inequality.
Soon after his assassination in 1968, various groups started campaigning for a holiday honoring King. However, it wasn't until a petition to congress collected six million signatures from the general public that a new bill was proposed and signed into federal law in 1983. Some states chose different names for the holiday, but by 2000 all 50 states had a holiday named after King.
Check out these great Quizlet sets to learn more about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., or supplement your lesson plan about civil rights issues in the past and present.
Photo of King speaking at the March on Washington in 1963, from the U.S. National Archives.