Martin Luther King Day a celebration of a man's dedication to civil rights
By Airman 1st Class Phillip Houk, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 17, 2013
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Jan. 21 is a federal holiday allowing many federal workers a free day of leave.
Many forget that this day celebrates the 84th birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a key civil rights leader of the 1950s and 1960s. King fought for civil rights by teaching nonviolent protest as well as creating many changes in the way our country and government perceived segregation.
For more than a decade, King was a key worker toward the goal of a desegregated America. One example of this was his work as spokesman of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. In this boycott, citizens of Alabama refused to use the bus system for 382 days. Ultimately, through the work of King and all of those involved, the city of Montgomery revoked their segregated seating law, leading to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that racial segregation in transportation services is unconstitutional.
King drew inspiration from many different sources in his life, including those of his Christian heritage and beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi. These teachings were influential throughout King's life and the civil rights movement, ultimately leading to his reception of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
Since 1986 Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been observed as a federal holiday. This day celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and his dedication to civil rights and nonviolent activism.
This article was compiled from information found at the www.biography.com/ and www.thekingcenter.org/ websites.