Americans observe the birth and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday of January. This federal holiday celebrates King’s invaluable contributions to promote racial equality in America.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929, King gained considerable prominence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott that resulted from Rosa Park’s refusal to obey a city ordinance and give up her seat on a bus to a white person. Following King’s involvement in the boycott, his name became synonymous with the American civil rights movement.
King was greatly influenced by Gandhi and the idea of non-violent civil disobedience as a means of enacting social change. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.