Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Celebrated on the third Monday of January, this day of service honors the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- the most influential civil rights leader in US history.

Martin Luther King Jr Day MLK Showcase
Credit: "Martin Luther King's Speech" by Joplin Lefrandt / MY HERO Gallery


Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for Martin Luther King Jr. Day for this film program. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

"No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples' holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream." ~ Coretta Scott King
The following story was written by Congressman John Lewis about his hero Martin Luther King Jr., the most influential civil rights leader in American history. Martin Luther King Jr. worked hard to understand human nature and its need for philosophical or spiritual guidance in order to create great change. This is his legacy that we all have come to respect and admire. His study of others who went before him gave him the wisdom to follow a good and righteous course in furthering the civil rights of all American citizens.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis talks about how Martin Luther King Jr. inspired him as a young man during the Civil Rights Movement.

Learn more about the 1963 March on Washington with the Following  Stories and Film 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" text.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech
Credit: unknown

The March for Freedom 1963

Davon Johnson

Nonviolent civil disobedience based on Christian beliefs started long before the 1963 peaceful protest, March for Freedom on Washington D.C. PASSWORD: 2march4freedom1963

Bayard Rustin

By: Jasmine from Chapel Hill

Bayard Rustin was an important leader in the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

Heroes Who inspired Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays

By: Rev. Calvin O. Butts
Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays mentored Reverend Calvin O. Butts, who is now pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY. Read a story about Mays by Rev. Calvin O. Butts

Mahatma Gandhi

By: Navodit Maheshwari

Heroes Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Barack Obama

By: Dylan R

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt
Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt.

Marian Wright Edelman

By: Staff Writer
Marian Wright Edelman was the first woman admitted to the Mississippi bar, contributed to Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign, and founded the Children's Defense Fund to advocate for poor and disabled children.

Hero Essays about Martin Luther King Jr. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Russell Kang

An American Hero and My Hero

By: Cameron Cheshire

Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Gehrig and Jonathan from Cincinnati

Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Jam Davis

Martin Luther King Stories for Younger Readers

Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Ava Hardin

Selma Jeyathurai White

By: Abigail Richardson
6 year old Selma recently secured first place in the National Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest for her age group.

Yolanda Renee King

By: Abigail Richardson
15-year-old Yolanda Renee King's speaks to children everywhere about her hopes for a new future in her book, "We Dream a World."

Artwork inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.

Ben Heine pays homage to the great African-American civil rights heroes Martin Luther King and to US President Barack Obama.

Credit: Ben Heine from Belgium

Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Robert Shetterly

Portrait of Civil Rights Leader MLK Jr by Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the

I have a Dream

By: Rattasart

This painting was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. A hand from a black person and a hand from a white person hold the American flag together. The background shows black and white students, studying in the same school.

Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Marilyn Huerta

Marilyn Huerta paints a vivid portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader and non-violent activist.


By: Traven Sherrod

One of the Great Leaders Pursuing Civil Rights, Martin Luther King Jr pursued equality and liberty for all black people.

Related Pages


Produced by:Anson Schloat and John G. Young

John Lewis, U.S. Congressman, speaks about the importance of being a good citizen.

The March on Washington D.C. 1963

Devon Johnson

Two very talented Jazz musicians come together to performed a tribute to MLK Jr. and The leadership that march on Washington D.C. in 1963. 

Related Links

The official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The King Center
Credit: The King Center

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Organizer created on 1/20/2020 2:24:10 AM by Xenia Shin

Last edited 1/15/2024 8:20:23 AM by Abigail Richardson