Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Inspired by Gandhi, he advocated non-violent civil disobedience to correct social injustices. The campaign for civil rights led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, the last of which was signed into law just days after Dr. King was assassinated. This legislation, which outlawed segregation in public facilities and discrimination at the ballot box, brought down the last major legal barriers to racial equality in the United States. Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech is one of the greatest in American history. He was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 20004.
Below you’ll find just a few of the many online resources available to help you deepen your knowledge of Dr. King, his legacy, and the meaning of MLK Day. We’ve also compiled a brief history of the creation of the holiday, which you’ll find here.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
- The U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service maintains a resource-rich, official government website dedicated to MLK Day as a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative.
- The Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service is a project of Global Citizen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that draws volunteers from a three-state region.
- Scholastic Magazine offers online acces to lesson plans on the MLK Day of Service for grades 3-8.
- The Teaching American History project at the Ashbrook Center, Ashland University, in Ashland, Ohio, maintains an online library of some of the core documents of the Civil Rights Era, including many of Dr. King’s writings and speeches.
- The National Constitution Center has produced a short educational video on Dr. King’s life and work for students in grades 5 to 12.
- Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has created a useful set of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for teachers commemorating Dr. King’s life with students.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and His Legacy
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, known as The King Center, is a National Historic Site, a resource center and community institution located in Atlanta, Georgia.
- The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University was built around the first comprehensive research into Dr. King’s personal papers and today brings together videos and other digital archives, and a broad range of historical sources.