This January day was set aside
to celebrate the birthday of a man,
a gentle man, who bravely lived and died
too soon, but left a challenge and a plan.
He was a man of strength and grace and will
who stood for honor, character, and grit,
a man who sought and fought for freedom till
he gave his life, in faith, defending it.
He had a dream of hope, a dream that we,
though different in creed, belief, and race,
could live, as friends, in peace and harmony
and make the world a better place.
“Hold fast to dreams”: together we must strive
to understand, and keep the dream alive.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year.
The line "Hold fast to dreams" is from the poem “Dreams” by Langston Hughes.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened in Washington, D.C., in 2011. It features a granite statue of the civil rights leader called the Stone of Hope.
January 20, 1986, was the first time Martin Luther King Jr. Day was observed.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929.