MLK Day encourages service

Veteran filmmaker Sam Pollard talks to Amanpour about his new film "MLK/FBI" which tracks the FBI's attempts to destroy the reputation of Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 10:11 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2021 10:11 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January, although Dr. King was actually born on the 15th of January 1929, 92 years ago.

Mrs. Coretta Scott King and musician Stevie Wonder fought for years to make it a federal holiday. Wonder told CNN that they started with tours and marches in the early 1980s. "And so our first march was in 1981, and we had another one in '82, '83. And then ultimately the bill was signed by President Reagan."

Below are some facts and numbers related to the federal holiday, in which Americans are encouraged to participate in a day of service. The numbers tell the story.

That's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people.

From the King sermon delivered on the night of April 3, 1968, at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. Titled "I've Been to the Mountaintop," it was his last speech.
Source: Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

65 YEARS AGO

December 1, 1955 - The Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott against segregated seating lasted approximately one year, starting December 1, 1955. This is what Dr. King said in his book, "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story": We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.
Source: Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

52 YEARS AGO

February 4, 1968 - Dr. King encourages his congregation to seek greatness through service and love
"Everybody can be great because everybody can serve," Dr. King said in his sermon "The Drum Major Instinct." Mrs. King read the same statement when, in 1994, she asked congress to make the holiday an official national day of humanitarian service.
Source: Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

52 YEARS AGO

April 8, 1968 - The first legislative bill to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) sponsored the bill to establish the federal holiday on April 8, 1968.
Source: National Archives; Congressional Record

41 YEARS AGO

1980 - Wonder calls for a day of remembrance
Wonder's release of "Happy Birthday," a song asking for a day "in full remembrance."
Source: Billboard; Universal Music Group

37 YEARS AGO

November 2, 1983 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day becomes a national holiday
President Ronald Reagan signed the November 3, 1983, legislation, creating the national holiday, which started in 1986.
Source: Congressional Record; National Archives

35 YEARS AGO

January 20, 1986 - The very first national celebration
In proclaiming January 20, 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President Reagan wrote, "Dr. King's activism was rooted in the true patriotism that cherishes America's ideals and strives to narrow the gap between those ideals and reality."
Source: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum; US Government Publishing Office

26 YEARS AGO

August 23, 1994 - The holiday becomes a day of service
The holiday became a day of service on August 23, 1994, when President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act.
Source: AmeriCorps; The American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara

Reflecting on his legacy in 2018, 50 years after his death.

Walk in King's footsteps at these destinations.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 966154

Reported Deaths: 17237
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1116881202
Cuyahoga953321735
Hamilton73102963
Montgomery47187886
Summit40041955
Butler35377468
Lucas35149761
Stark29267838
Warren22334274
Lorain21938389
Mahoning19373541
Lake18335305
Clermont18304210
Delaware16385135
Licking14923200
Fairfield14476157
Trumbull14270461
Greene13536213
Medina13327218
Clark12210335
Wood11481193
Portage10958159
Allen10761235
Richland10236205
Miami9999189
Muskingum8139129
Columbiana8094182
Pickaway8022101
Tuscarawas8012235
Marion7973137
Wayne7843219
Erie6852184
Ross6114136
Geauga6036128
Hancock5973112
Ashtabula5928144
Scioto5911104
Lawrence522474
Union509752
Darke5021124
Belmont490189
Huron4776117
Jefferson4770108
Sandusky475595
Seneca4648103
Athens461232
Washington459387
Mercer4581101
Auglaize454898
Shelby440769
Knox400586
Putnam3982101
Madison391447
Ashland378395
Fulton377564
Defiance3706102
Brown368842
Crawford356196
Logan352959
Preble352471
Clinton339364
Highland326855
Ottawa322367
Williams301477
Jackson288556
Guernsey285734
Champaign285146
Fayette267644
Perry267143
Morrow258925
Henry245465
Hardin243656
Holmes2430104
Coshocton233847
Van Wert228849
Gallia221346
Adams215432
Pike214428
Wyandot209053
Hocking193449
Carroll180228
Paulding159623
Meigs134637
Noble128442
Monroe116036
Morgan100534
Harrison100132
Vinton76615
Unassigned00
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