MLK Day encourages service

Veteran filmmaker Sam Pollard talks to Amanpour about his new film "MLK/FBI" which tracks the FBI's attempts to destroy the reputation of Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 9:11 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2021 9:11 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January, although Dr. King was actually born on the 15th of January 1929, 92 years ago.

Mrs. Coretta Scott King and musician Stevie Wonder fought for years to make it a federal holiday. Wonder told CNN that they started with tours and marches in the early 1980s. "And so our first march was in 1981, and we had another one in '82, '83. And then ultimately the bill was signed by President Reagan."

Below are some facts and numbers related to the federal holiday, in which Americans are encouraged to participate in a day of service. The numbers tell the story.

That's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people.

From the King sermon delivered on the night of April 3, 1968, at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. Titled "I've Been to the Mountaintop," it was his last speech.
Source: Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

65 YEARS AGO

December 1, 1955 - The Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott against segregated seating lasted approximately one year, starting December 1, 1955. This is what Dr. King said in his book, "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story": We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.
Source: Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

52 YEARS AGO

February 4, 1968 - Dr. King encourages his congregation to seek greatness through service and love
"Everybody can be great because everybody can serve," Dr. King said in his sermon "The Drum Major Instinct." Mrs. King read the same statement when, in 1994, she asked congress to make the holiday an official national day of humanitarian service.
Source: Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

52 YEARS AGO

April 8, 1968 - The first legislative bill to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) sponsored the bill to establish the federal holiday on April 8, 1968.
Source: National Archives; Congressional Record

41 YEARS AGO

1980 - Wonder calls for a day of remembrance
Wonder's release of "Happy Birthday," a song asking for a day "in full remembrance."
Source: Billboard; Universal Music Group

37 YEARS AGO

November 2, 1983 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day becomes a national holiday
President Ronald Reagan signed the November 3, 1983, legislation, creating the national holiday, which started in 1986.
Source: Congressional Record; National Archives

35 YEARS AGO

January 20, 1986 - The very first national celebration
In proclaiming January 20, 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President Reagan wrote, "Dr. King's activism was rooted in the true patriotism that cherishes America's ideals and strives to narrow the gap between those ideals and reality."
Source: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum; US Government Publishing Office

26 YEARS AGO

August 23, 1994 - The holiday becomes a day of service
The holiday became a day of service on August 23, 1994, when President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act.
Source: AmeriCorps; The American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara

Reflecting on his legacy in 2018, 50 years after his death.

Walk in King's footsteps at these destinations.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
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