Why don’t we have school on Monday, Mommy/Daddy?
Because is is Martin Luther king, Jr. Day!
Who is Martin Luther King, Jr?
Let me explain so you understand, child……
MLK, Jr was an important activist on civil rights-he cared about all people so much he wanted everyone to always get along. He wanted everyone to treat others fairly and with respect.
He was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Ga.
He did not go to High School because he went straight to college at 15 years old
His Dad was a Pastor and MLK also became a Pastor too when he grew up
In the 1950’s people treated colored people differently and MLK did not think that was fair so he fought to change rules so that everyone can be treated the same.
People listened to him and some agreed with him and others did not agree. He helped change a law that allowed colored people to now sit with white people on buses. They used to have to sit in the back only. That was not fair, so MLK fought for 1 whole year to change that law.
He then went to India to study how to get people to listen to him peacefully-he did not want fighting. He learned this from a great leader in India named Mahatma Gandhi.
On June 23, 1963 he led a large walk, protest, called the Freedom Walk in Michigan and 125,000 people came to walk for peace and fairness for all people with him
On August 28th 1963 he led a same kind of walk in Washington, DC near the White House to fight for equality and fairness for all people in jobs and racial equality. It is there he gave his most famous speech called I Have A Dream!
He was such a great speaker and worked so hard to make sure every person was treated fairly no matter the color of their skin that he was given the highest award you can get for changing many people in a good way. On October 1963 he received the Nobel Peace Prize and became the youngest person to ever get that award.
He fought hard and some people did not like his protests and speeches and he was even arrested a few times then let go on his protests throughout those years
Then in November of 1967, he started speaking out for more than colored people-he spoke for the poor people and announced the Poor People Campaign to help poor people of all races get jobs and be treated fairly. Just like colored people were treated unfairly then, so were people with little money.
Sadly, on April 4th, 1968 someone shot MLK, Jr while he was on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tn.
He was such a great speaker and loved people and peace so much, that in 1983 one of our Presidents named Ronald Reagan made a MLK, Jr day so we can all remember how hard he worked to make sure people were treated fairly. January was chosen because his birthday was in January.
There are even over 1,000 streets named Martin Luther King, Jr. after him!