Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?
What did he believe in?
Why is he important for Americans?

(Skip to 12:22 for MLK's final words.)

Answers to fill in the blanks

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a U.S. holiday that celebrates the birth date of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. Dr. King’s date of birth is January 15th, but the actual holiday is on the third Monday in January. The holiday recognizes the great achievements Martin Luther King made to American society. His efforts to achieve equal rights for black Americans changed America forever. His focus on non-violent protests led to new laws against racial discrimination in America. As a result, the US became a more equal society. The holiday is only one of four national holidays in America to commemorate a person. This shows just how important Martin Luther King was – one of the greatest Americans ever.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Just 25 years later, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed this holiday into U.S. law. People first observed the holiday three years later, in 1986. At first, the holiday was not popular with all American states. Some didn’t like the name and so they called it “Civil Rights Day”. However, in the year 2000, all 50 states observed the holiday using its correct name.

I Have a Dream Speech

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

Leaders from other nations

Who is an important civil rights leader in your country?
What did/does this person believe in?