Martin Luther King Jr. Day around the world in 2020

  How long until Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
This holiday next takes place in 64 days.
  Dates of Martin Luther King Jr. Day around the world
2022 US Virgin IslandsJan 17
US Virgin Islands Mon, Jan 17National Holiday
2021 Various Jan 18
American SamoaMon, Jan 18National Holiday
GuamMon, Jan 18National Holiday
Puerto RicoMon, Jan 18National Holiday
US Virgin IslandsMon, Jan 18National Holiday
USAMon, Jan 18National Holiday
2020 Various Jan 20
American SamoaMon, Jan 20National Holiday
GuamMon, Jan 20National Holiday
Puerto RicoMon, Jan 20National Holiday
US Virgin IslandsMon, Jan 20National Holiday
USAMon, Jan 20National Holiday
2019 Various Jan 21
American SamoaMon, Jan 21National Holiday
GuamMon, Jan 21National Holiday
Puerto RicoMon, Jan 21National Holiday
US Virgin IslandsMon, Jan 21National Holiday
USAMon, Jan 21National Holiday
2018 Various Jan 15
Puerto RicoMon, Jan 15National Holiday
USAMon, Jan 15National Holiday
Each year on the third Monday of January, America honors the birth, life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  Which countries observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2020?
American Samoa  American SamoaJan 20National Holiday
Guam  GuamJan 20National Holiday
Puerto Rico  Puerto RicoJan 20National Holiday
US Virgin Islands  US Virgin IslandsJan 20National Holiday
USA  USAJan 20National Holiday

When is Martin King Luther 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.

In 2019, a survey by Bloomberg Law showed that 45% of employers give all or most employees a paid day off for King Day. That percentage has doubled since 1990, according to the survey.

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.

History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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.

Did you know?

The famous musician Stevie Wonder was a strong supporter of the movement to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday. In 1981, he wrote and released one of his most popular songs 'Happy Birthday' to highlight the cause.

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.

Alternative state holidays

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

State Name
Alabama, Mississippi Robert E Lee's Birthday
Arizona, New Hampshire Civil Rights Day
Idaho Idaho Human Rights Day


  • The King Center

Did you know?

Three facts about Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested 30 times

Martin Luther King, Jr Day is the only federal holiday considered a national day of service.

The first state bill recognizing a holiday for King was signed into law in 1973 in Illinois.

More facts about Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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