WASHINGTON (Jan. 14, 2014) -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15.

This year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will be recognized on Jan. 20, 2014. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.

President Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act August 23, 1994, expanding the mission of the holiday as a day of community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives.


This year, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, or DEOMI's, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday poster features a painting of Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's wife. The couple was married on June 18, 1953, in a ceremony conducted by the groom's father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. Coretta Scott King was preparing for a career as a singer when she met the young preacher. As he became a leader in the growing civil rights movement, Mrs. King was often at her husband's side in civil rights marches and demonstrations, and she often was alone with their four children as King traveled for the cause.

Widowed when he was assassinated in 1968, Coretta Scott King took up the mantle of his civil rights non-violent activism and worked to keep his dream and memory alive until her passing in 2006 at the age of 78. She remains an inspirational figure to men and women around the world.

The national recurring theme of this holiday is "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On…Not A Day Off." It calls upon the American people to engage in public service and promote nonviolent social change. Dr. King's unfinished movement toward equality can be achieved by our united, enduring efforts.

For more information about the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, please visit: http://www.mlkday.gov/ (See related links)