Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

USA Federal Holidays in 2017 Federal Holiday in United States of America

Statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January

How long until Martin Luther King Day ?
This holiday next takes place in 292 Days.
Dates of Martin Luther King Day
Year Date
2018 January 15th
2017 January 16th
2016 January 18th
2015 January 19th
2014 January 20th
1 Day
Alternative state holidays
Third Monday in January in some states is not called MLK Day
State Name
Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi Robert E Lee's Birthday
Arizona, New Hampshire Civil Rights Day
Idaho Idaho Human Rights Day
Each year on the third Monday of January, America honors the birth, life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When is Martin Luther King, Jr Day?

Each year on the third Monday of January, America honors the birth, life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As this is a Federal holiday, not only will schools and libraries be closed, most federal and state offices will be closed and there will be no mail deliveries on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

It is a time to remember the injustices that Dr. King fought. A time to remember his fight for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all races and peoples through nonviolence.

Dr. King was an American clergyman and civil-rights leader. He became minister of the Dexter Ave. Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. He led the black boycott of segregated city bus lines in 1956 and gained a major victory as a civil-rights leader when Montgomery buses began to operate on a desegregated basis.

King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which provided a base to pursue further civil-rights activities, in the South and later nationwide. His philosophy of nonviolent resistance resulted in his arrest on numerous occasions in the 1950s and 60s. His 1963 protest in Birmingham, Alabama earned him worldwide attention. He brought together more than 200,000 people on the March on Washington in August 1963 where he delivered his famous “ I Have a Dream” speech. In 1964, at the age of 35, he was the youngest man and the third black man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

His interests widened from civil rights to include criticism of the Vietnam War and a deeper concern over poverty. His plans for a Poor People's March to Washington in 1968 were interrupted for a trip to Memphis, Tennessee in support of striking sanitation workers. On April 4, 1968, he was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

Since his assassination, Mrs. Coretta Scott King has devoted her energy and attention to developing programs and building the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband's life and dream. The King Center is the first institution built in memory of an African American leader and hosts over one million visitors a year.

The bill to create Martin Luther King Day was sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy and passed the senate in October of 1983. The following month, President Reagan signed it, establishing the Third Monday of every January as Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday, beginning in 1986.

In Idaho, This day is known as Idaho Human Rights Day. In Arizona and New Hampshire, the day is known as Civil Rights Day. See the table above for the full list of alternative State holidays on the Third Monday in January.


  • The King Center

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