The holiday offers the opportunity for Americans to honor King’s legacy through service.
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking King’s birthday. The federal holiday was first observed in 1986, making 2015 the 29th anniversary of the King federal holiday.
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading the effort.
King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all and encouraged citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place to live.