You know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an activist, civil rights leader, and powerful speaker. But did you know ... ?
His birth name was Michael King Jr. His dad was so impressed by religious leader Martin Luther that he changed his name and that of his son, who was already 5 years old.
He started college at age 15. He skipped two grades in high school and graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in sociology.
He spoke at the Washington Monument for the first time in 1957, 6 years before the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. It was this earlier speech that elevated Martin Luther King Jr. to a leadership position in the civil rights movement.
MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. Its purpose is to encourage people to volunteer in their communities. You can participate by donating your time or other resources to your local schools, food bank, meal delivery service, and community centers, or visit AmeriCorps to find other ways to volunteer.