Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the USA. King was actually born on the 15th, but the holiday honoring his life is on the third Monday of the month every year. The holiday was signed into law by Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986--18 years after his assassination. Sadly, it would be another 14 years before the holiday would be celebrated by all 50 states in 2000.
Many businesses are closed today in observance of this federal holiday, as are post offices and banks around the country.
What better way to honor Dr. King than to spend a few moments reliving his most famous speech, "I Have A Dream"?
Over 200,000 heard that speech live and in person in Washington D.C., and it remains one of the most powerful and famous speeches in American history. It's easy to see why. King has plenty to teach us about racial equality and harmony--and there's a lot to learn about public speaking from the man as well.
If you're off from work today, I'd encourage you to spend some time exploring the life and words of Martin Luther King Jr. beyond just his most famous speech. For instance, you could watch this moving segment from his final speech in Memphis:
Even the Gregory Brothers--the kings of autotune--have created a video celebrating King's message by turning that final speech into a song:
Even Google is honoring King with one of their patented Google Doodles, which shows children of all colors playing together and, when clicked, takes the reader to a robust set of search results for "Martin Luther King Jr."
However you spend this holiday--even if you have to work--spend a few minutes reflecting on the impact of the life of Dr. King, who has meant as much to our nation's equality and opportunity as any one man ever has.