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Martin Luther King Day – Civil Rights Day

Martin Luther King Day – Civil Rights Day – On Monday, the US celebrates the life and legacy of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, who would have turned 89 years old.


Martin Luther King Day


The Baptist minister, Nobel Laureate and civil rights activist dedicated his life to “work for peace, social justice, and opportunity for all Americans”.

Beginning in 1971, three years after he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, many US cities and states began to mark what is now known as “MLK Day”.

In 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that created a federal holiday in King’s honour. It was first observed three years later and continues to be celebrated on the third Monday of January. The day was chosen because it is often around King’s birthday, January 15.

More than 30 years later, the day is still traditionally celebrated as one of service, honouring King’s legacy and words, including his famous “I have a dream” speech, which continue to resonate today.

Here is a list of some of King’s most emblematic quotes:

1. On injustice

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” King wrote from the Birmingham city jail in 1963.

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” he said.

“Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial, ‘outside agitator’ idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”   Martin Luther King Jr

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