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Martin Luther King Day 2013

Every year, on the third Monday of January, we commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) with the national federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Mr. King is best known for his role as an activist and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He is noted for his novel approach to the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience to eliminate poverty, racism, and violence.

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to pursue the civil rights movement, taking its ideals from Christianity, and its operational approach involving nonviolence, from leaders like Mahatama Gandhi harmonizing ideals drawn from many different cultural traditions. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King is reported to have spoken over twenty-five hundred times, and written five books as well as numerous articles. During this time, he also led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, which inspired his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", a manifesto of the African American revolution. He planned drives in Alabama for the registration of African Americans as voters, and directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., where he delivered his famous, "l Have a Dream" speech.

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. At the age of thirty-five, Mr. King was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. King was assassinated on the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march with striking labor workers.

For more information on the life and accomplishments of Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr. please visit the following sites: