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Make a difference today

Had he lived, Martin Luther King Jr. would be 95 today.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta. He was assassinated on March 29, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966

Most of the nation has honored Martin Luther King Jr. since 1986, three years after President Ronald Reagan signed a bill establishing a federal holiday in King’s honor.

The first day the United States observed the holiday was Jan. 20, 1986.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed that the holiday be observed on the third Monday of January, bringing it closer to King’s official birthday.

The holiday finally was recognized by all 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2000 for the first time.

It is fitting that in 2024, we honor his legacy on what would have been his 95th birthday.

The holiday is meant to offer citizens a time of reflection, in addition to the possibility of community service and to celebrate King’s contributions to the civil rights movement as well as recognizing the ongoing fight for civil rights, equality and justice.

Live Out the Legacy

If you can, take some time today to do one of the following in celebration of King’s legacy:

  • Some communities may have a parade. Attend to celebrate his life. Or maybe your community may have featured speakers in honor of King. Plan to attend,
  • Take some time today to take part in volunteer community service. All service to your community can only benefit those who live there and taking part in such an event will celebrate King’s commitment to social justice,
  • Learn more about the civil rights movement and King’s work in it by reading a book, watching a documentary or visiting a museum,
  • Reflect on social justice. Think about the progress that has been made and how much further we need to go, and
  • Share King’s message of equality and nonviolence, as well as love, with your friends on social media.

Additional Reading

Here is some additional reading material for you, including pieces written by Sister Patty Wallace, SP, Sister Donna Butler, SP, and the Sisters of Providence. We hope that today, you may find the inspiration to make a difference:

#IHaveADream #CivilRights #MLKDay

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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