“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
This month, we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr (born January 15, 1929) by observing Martin Luther King, Jr Day on Monday, January 17. In recent years, this day has become known known as a National Day of Service. To honor Dr. King and his tremendous contributions, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite resources to bring the important lessons Martin Luther King, Jr to your classroom. It is my hope you will find this useful!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Biography from NobelPrize.org
TeacherVision: Martin Luther King Jr Resources for Teachers
TeacherPlanet: Martin Luther King Resource Page
The Teachers Corner: Martin Luther King, Jr. Lesson Plans and Activities
The Apple: 5 Life Lessons From Dr. Martin Luther King
The Adoption of the King Holiday—a Timeline
- April 4, 1968 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
- April 8, 1968 Rep. John Conyers of Michigan proposes legislation to make King’s birthday a national holiday. The sitting Congress ignores the bill.
- January 1969 Over a thousand auto workers at a Tarrytown, New York, plant take a day off from work to celebrate King’s birthday. Suspensions greet 60 of the workers; management threatens many other workers with formal reprisals.
- March 1970 Six million signatures in support of a national King holiday arrive in Washington. Representative Conyers and Representative Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, begin the process of conducting Congressional hearings.
- January 1981 Seattle dockworkers are fired shortly after passing out literature in support of a formal King holiday.
- 1982 and 1983 Major marches in support of voting rights and the King legacy continue to place pressure on Congress. Petition drives continue.
- August 1983 The House of Representatives passes a bill honoring Dr. King’s birthday.
- October 1983 Despite persistent efforts by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, the Senate passes the King holiday bill.
- November 1983 President Reagan signs the measure into law.
- January 20, 1986 Dr. King’s birthday is observed as a federal holiday for the first time.